Monday, August 18, 2014

Get Ready For Fall in Five Easy Steps

Fall is around the corner, and while some are clinging to the last few days of summer I literally sighed in relief when I painted on my first dark polish for the season. There's just something about Fall that makes me happy. I love the layering, the beautiful jewel-toned clothing and accessories, the excitement from NYFW, and the jackets. I LOVE the jackets.

I thought it might be useful to help y'all move on from the end of summer by sharing 5 tips on how to get ready for Fall. Just in case you know, it snuck up on you.

1. Get Your 2015 Planner

In the business world we've already begun planning for 2015. Instead of trying to scribble in your important meetings and events for next year into the super tiny section of your 2014 planner, upgrade to a new 2015 one in a style that screams chic, organized and elegant. 
I am in lust with the new planners from GiGi New York. They are available in a bunch of colours and finishes including traditional leather, embossed python, crocodile embossed leather and metallic leather. You can see more here.  While you're at it, you can get it personalized too! Writing your own name just doesn't do it anymore right?

Leather 2015 Planner

2. Switch out Your NailPolish

Fall calls for richer tones so switch out your neons for jewel-toned colours. One of the hot colours for this summer was white; to transition this for Fall you can go for creamier whites or buff nudes. These colours look better on medium length 'squoval' nails so file down your talons and remind yourself of what it was like to actually type with your fingers.

Image Source

3. Go Matte

Summer calls for shinier finishes but Fall calls for deeper, more matte hues. You will see darker lips and eyes in the magazines signalling you to put away your lipgloss and reach for your matte lip colours. I am personally a fan of super dark reds like L'OReal's Infallible Lip Colour in Persistent Plum.

4. Layer Up

The heat is off so by all means pile on your jewellery. Layers create texture and interest and something that was once ordinary suddenly becomes more special. I love layering because I feel like it marries my different styles all together. There are rules to layering if you want it to look effortless. With jewellery, I go with delicate pieces that pair well together. I also really like mixing metals - gold and copper finishes and rose gold are an unpredictable mix. If you are looking for delicate pieces you can check out my online store here

5. Get The Right Bag

A great bag does great things for your confidence. Even though you might be tempted to buy a super trendy cheap bag or, an expensive branded bag I guarantee you that if you get a good quality leather bag, that has small or no branding  it will be stylish for years.  Get yours here

GiGi New York | Elements Of Style Blog | Natural Grain & Embossed Python Leather | The Gates Satchel @Erin Gates

What are you excited about for Fall?

till later,

Monday, July 21, 2014

Review: L'Oreal Damage Erasing Balm

This is the last in the Deep Conditioner Series and I've been more than happy to go through these with you guys to help you figure out which one serves your interest best. The thing about buying new products is that you have no clue if you'll want to keep using it after the first time or not. So, onto this one - the claims are that this is all you need to repair super damaged hair. Summer heat and humidity along with heat styling can fry your hair so after a month of being particularly rough on my hair, I decided that I would give this a try. Here are my thoughts:


There isn't anything particularly fancy about this packaging. It's a light yellow  thick creme that comes in a transparent tub with a black screw-off top. Again, it may slip from you in the shower,( or maybe I'm just clumsy and drop everything?) and could use some grips to be more ergonomic. It travels really well without spilling all over the place so if you carry this on vacation you won't regret it. It has a ton of product in it so you definitely get a bang for your buck and unless you're literally Rapunzel this will last you quite a while.


This was priced at $1100 JMD which is the higher end of reasonable in my book. I have noticed that products containing protein elements are usually more costly than those that are moisturizing. I'm not sure why, but this could probably explain why it's a little more costly than the other L'Oreal conditioners. Again, this is a pretty thick and creamy product so a little goes a long way. 


Alright, the first thing you will notice right off the bat is that this is very very very scented. Think of if your grandmother's strongest perfume broke and you walked into her room - this is how strong this is. Maybe I'm exaggerating but the scent is very strong. The good thing is that it doesn't last past the rinse. You will need a small blob of this about half the size of a golf ball if you have shoulder length hair; more if your hair is longer. It's a tad rubbery so you will need to massage it in into your shaft. I also recommend smoothing this along the ends of your hair, pinning it up and letting it sit under a cap for about 25 minutes so it can do its job. If you use too much it can make your hair limp and a tad rubbery but just enough adds some slip to the hair to help with detangling.


This isn't a moisturizing conditioner -  however it really helps with preventing breakage quite a bit. It strengthens your hair and reduces the amount of hair you lose from combing and brushing and helps your hair stand up to heat styling. I wouldn't use this every week, in fact I alternate this with a moisturizing conditioner. I would say in order to get the proper moisture you need from your conditioner I would say use your normal conditioner before using this deep conditioner or you may end up with brittle hair. Don't be alarmed, this is a normal side effect of using a protein treatment. I would give this a 6/7 out of 10.

What do you think? Have you tried this? Did you like it? Leave me a comment below and let me know.

'til later,

Enjoyed this post? Check out more of my Reviews here

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Get Ready Quickly Post-Workout

It's #tiptuesdays here on the Jane way and today we'll be talking about how to freshen up quickly after a workout. These are quick easy tips that will let you get in and out and back to your busy life in minutes. Make it part of your routine and see how much time you shave off your post-gym recovery.

Try these tips:

  • Carry wipes with you if you don't get the chance to shower - feminine wipes and baby wipes/ wet wipes are great. If you are concerned about going green then you can carry a wash cloth and a bottle of diluted alcohol and witch hazel. wipe everywhere;
  • Brush out your hair and sprinkle the wettest parts with baking soda or a dry shampoo and let it soak for a bit;
  • Reapply deodorant and body spray once your skin has dried. You need the area to be dry in order for the deodorant to stick and stay;
  • Wipe your face, neck and chest down with astringent to get rid of bacteria that can lead to acne later on
  • Apply a gel or light moisturizer with sunscreen and re-apply lotion. Your skin is most dehydrated and vulnerable after sweating so be sure to take care of it I like this moisturizer here;
  • Clean up any stray eyeliner or mascara you may have neglected to remove pre-workout with a q-tip and apply a tinted moisturizer or BB cream. I like to soak my q-tips in makeup remover and keep in a ziplock baggie in my gym bag;
  • Make sure to wipe behind your neck, knees, elbows, armpits, behind your ears and between your toes to get rid of any lingering smells;
  • Take care of any wet strands by tucking them under with braids or a bun but maintain a loose style so your hair doesn't smell as it dries.
  • Drink plain old water!

That's it!

What are your time-saving tips? 

Thanks for reading!

Review: Pantene Pro-V Relaxed & Natural Intense Moisturizing Conditioner

Last week, I mentioned reviewing several deep conditioners that were readily available on the shelves now and comparing them. This week, we're looking at a pretty popular deep conditioner among persons with natural or relaxed hair. The Pantene Pro-V Relaxed & Natural Intense Moisturizing Conditioner has quite a following and I was eager to see whether this would work for me or not. These are my thoughts:


The packaging for this product seems to keep changing every few months but when I got it, it was in a squeeze tube with a grey cap. It had the trademark purple and gold branding and the same brown colour so it wasn't that hard to find but I do know more than one persons who have totally different packaging. This is a slippery sucker in the shower and there isn't anything ergonomic about it - it will slip and slide in your hands if you're using this in the shower. I wouldn't mind if the beauty industry stopped putting products for 'brown-skinned women' in brown packaging -it has understandably tiffed a number of persons.


This was a little over $1000 JMD which was sort of expected because Pantene is considered to be a super brand and this line is supposedly specially formulated for black hair - i.e. lots of gimmicks means it can be priced higher. It's not super expensive and you do get quite a few uses out of it but in the back of my head I feel like I can get other products for better prices.


When you squeeze this out the product is white and the texture reminds me of maybe a lighter lotion. It's very slippery and one friend attributed that to silicone properties - I'm not sure how true this is. When you apply it to your hair, you definitely have to give it a few minutes to soak into the hair shaft. It has a subtle scent that smells to me like a combination of musk and gardenia, and it lingers in your hair for about a day or two before it completely goes away. It is a tad difficult to work into the roots and I have had trouble trying to get it to soak into the hair at that point. 


This feels like a conditioner you use when you've forgotten yours at home - the kind that your hotel provides for you. It's not thick or rich or creamy. It does reduce dryness at the ends of your hair and gives a nice slip to the hair so your hair is smoother than if you hadn't deep conditioned. The best thing about this conditioner is the fact that it makes even muddy brown hair a little shiny for about two days after application. It's a fairly decent conditioner and if you have fine hair maybe this could be an option for you. I'm not in love with it so I wouldn't repurchase but I don't hate it either. All in all I would say this is a fair choice.

Have you tried this? Did you like it or hate it? Leave me a comment or hit me up on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with your thoughts.

'til later,

Friday, July 4, 2014

Friday Fix: Five Things You Should Try

This week has been a bit of a mosh pit of slow lazy unbearably hot days and super productive days when I am surprised that the sun is no longer in the sky. I did manage to carve out several moments of relaxation and pleasure and I thought I would share with you some of my favourite things you can check out for yourself.

1. Show

It isn't a full week until you've watched something on your computer or television. This week I fell in love with the movie 'All Good Things' starring Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst. 
All Good Things (2010) Poster

If you enjoy thrillers/mysteries that are a tad psychological with a slower build and cool cinematography then you will enjoy this movie. I thought the acting was really good and I was moved by the main characters emotions. I enjoyed putting all the pieces together, and yes it did make me cry. If you're alone at home one night and you want an option that isn't a comedy but won't give you nightmares - it's a love story gone awry and I think you'll enjoy it. Shirtless Ryan Gosling doesn't hurt either ;)

2. Book

I am an avid reader and thanks to my Kindle I finish a book every couple days or so. This week, I enjoyed a light, funny read 'In the Stars' by Whitney Boyd.

This is a quick light read, there are a few grammatical errors in there but nothing that will throw you off. I finished it in one afternoon - it's a story that's a little bit about coming of age, and follows a young woman as she goes on an embarrassing journey before being able to learn from her mistakes. It made me laugh and probably will do the same for you.

3. Beauty Pick

It was a low-key week so I barely wore makeup. Instead I found myself gravitating towards my nail polishes, specifically the cult classic from Essie - Mint Candy Apple :
This really is a colour that looks great on all skin tones. It's a brighter pastel that has a cream finish with absolutely no streakiness. You can wear it on toes or fingers and on short or long nails.

4. Deals

I get sucked in by deals and coupon codes ad I thoroughly research a store online before I make any purchase. Independence Day is here and this means the deals will be aplenty. Here are links to some stores I adore:

What did you enjoy this week? Leave me a comment and let me know.

til later,

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Easily Fade Dark Spots At Home

DISCLAIMER: I am not a dermatologist, this is simply what has worked for me for years and I thought it would be fun to share with you all.

If you've ever popped a pimple or a zit, you know what it is to have a dark spot show up on your face as a reminder that you've been naughty by popping it. There are a lot of products out there that claim to fade dark spots but most of the ones I encounter use some sort of bleaching agent. This can lead to stripping, flaking, redness, ashy-ness and/or dryness which is just adding to the problem of the dark spot and to uneven skin tone.

I thought I would share some tips about what I do to fade dark spots from acne naturally. These are the products I use:

L-R: Witch Hazel; Aveeno Daily Moisturizer; Tea Tree OIl; Vitamin E Oil; Vitamin E capsules

I picked up most of these items from Earth Elements which is an excellent place to get natural beauty and health products at affordable prices. See my post on their store and contact information by clicking here. These are the steps:

  1. Calm The Skin: Zits and Pimples are really irritated skin. You need to apply something that will cool and calm the skin by getting rid of irritation. I like Witch Hazel for this because it doesn't dry out the area and works really quickly.
  2. Get rid of Bacteria : Any bacteria will prolong the life of the pimple/zit. To make sure that it's the end of the nasty beast on your skin apply Tea Tree Oil to it. The good thing about this oil is that it's a dry oil (meaning it evaporates and doesn't make you look oily) and will not clog your pores.
  3. Moisturize: The former zit/pimple is still skin and it still needs love so to encourage it regenerate/produce fresh skin you need to make sure it is moisturized, supple and healthy. I like this Aveeno Moisturizer because it doesn't have anything in it to irritate your skin and is specially formulated to help produce collagen
  4. Supplement: Because we live in a very polluted world, the vitamins and nutrients we get from regular meals have a lot of work to do. If we want to take care of a specific problem with our skin usually we need to supplement our diets. I find that Vitamin E Oil or Vitamin E capsules give me a healthier complexion when I use/take them. Another great vitamin for skin is Vitamin C which helps to brighten your skin and Vitamin A which is great for collagen production and makes your skin look fresh and plump.

And that's it! I find that if I do this maybe two/three days in a row, the dark mark fades drastically and in its place instead of dealing with a dry patch I have healthy skin. 

What has worked for you in the past? Will you be trying this out? Leave me a comment and let me know

Til later,

DIY Cushion Covers

I'm on a mission to redecorate my house without spending a bag of money. What this really means is that I have been spending hours upon hours scouring Pinterest and Google search for inspiration and tutorials. I've become so engrossed with it, I've been actually having dreams about what I want to do so I figured that instead of just annoying my friends and family with random pics and questions about tools and installation methods, I would share my experiments here. 

If you're as into decor as I am, *high five sister!* If not, I have hundreds of other posts on other topics I promise. So now let's get into it.

I went looking for material to recover my couch cushions because I was changing the colour scheme of my living room. I am yet to find something I love, things that were similar were very expensive at over $600 a yard and for something I would be looking at everyday I didn't think that was a fair trade off.

So, I dug through my two suitcases of unused fabric I've been hoarding saving for the future and found a plain white cotton - the possibilities alone made me dizzy with joy. A few days later, this happened-

Now you can see from the close-up that there are some mistakes where the paint leaked past the stencil but that's because I kept lifting it up to see what it looked like. I'm really an excited kid at heart especially when I get to make things. Don't worry it won't happen to you if you're patient. I'll stop blabbing now and get to it:

You Will Need:

  • Fabric of your choosing -you can choose any colour. I liked cotton because it's super easy to use, durable and doesn't require special care to wash in case it gets stained.
  • Acrylic/Fabric paint in a colour you like. (I got mine at Liguanea Drug & Garden you can pick yours up here)
  • Stencil (I made mine using cartridge paper but you can download one from the internet and print it.)
  • Sponge brush or rag
  • Tape
  • Scissors


  1. Measure the cushions you want to cover. Don't assume they are perfectly square. Determine whether you will need a lining for your fabric - you don't want to cover over the original fabric only to have it show through. If you need a lining you will want to double the fabric so just double your measurements.
  2. Cut the fabric for the front of the cushions only (you'll see why later) and lay them out on a flat surface, tape the edges down so they don't move and make sure they are completely flat without any ripples.
  3. Print/Make your stencil. I wanted a quatrefoil print but I couldn't bother to scale, size and print a pattern for my stencil. I kind of just figured out that I could use a square and half circles to create a similar effect so I drew that onto cartridge paper and then cut it out using an art knife.) It's far easier to print to scale I guess, but my creative side of my brain was making the math side of my brain lazy.
  4. Lay down your stencil using tape and with a pencil mark the edge/bottom of your stencil so you will know where the lay it down for the next line and have even spacing.
  5. Pour out your paint onto a plate and wet your foam brush or an old rag. It shouldn't be dripping but it needs to be moist so that it can get into the fabric properly. I was going for an almost tie-dyed effect so I didn't want it to be super clean lines but sort of faded like vintage tapestry especially since the paint was metallic.. If you want cleaner lines use the sponge brush, and for a more organic effect use cloth and dab rather than swipe on the paint.
  6. Remove the stencil carefully and keep going until all your fabric pieces are covered. You can vary the way you apply the stencil or you can stick to one method. Just get creative!
  7. Let it dry and press it so the paint is locked into the fabric

Sewing Instructions

DISCLAIMER: I did not use a pattern, I would rate myself as an Intermediate with sewing and I have a machine. This doesn't have to be done with a machine, a firm double backstitch by hand could get the job done but it will take longer.

  1. Not someone who can sew? If you are familiar with fabric glue go ahead and use that. If not, then take your actual cushion, and your newly printed fabric to your dressmaker/tailor. They won't charge you much to stitch them up.
  2. If you do sew, get some upholstery thread - you want this to be durable.
  3. Lay the front of the cushion down and measure the sides again *cut once measure twice*
  4. You will need two pieces for the back. Why? So you can slip the cover off and on to wash it, or to just change it out if you change your mind. The pieces need to overlap - so use the following example as a guide:
    1. If your front piece measures 20 x 20 then cut Piece A to measure 15 x 20 and the Piece B 13 x 20
    2. The overlap needs to be sizable enough to lay flat but not too small because this will cause it to gape
    3. Hem one 20 inch side of Piece A then a 20 inch side of Piece B
  5. Attach the un-hemmed side Piece A to the front matching the sides that measure the same together right sides facing each other. (The 20 inch side to the other 20 inch side) Then do the same with Piece B.
  6. Then lay Piece A over Piece B and sew the top and bottom to the front piece.
  7. Turn everything to the right side and check to see that everything is firmly in place. Iron and slip your cushion inside

This does not take long, but I got excited and finished one piece and stared at it for a couple days before completing the others. I also wanted to make sure I liked it enough and now I'm really happy with it. 

Will you be trying this? If you do, please tag me in your photo or tag #decoratewithjane so I can feature you on this blog. Check out my Instagram and Facebook page to stay up to date with what I'm doing.

Till next time,