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Not that girl crushes are something totally out of the ordinary for a gal like me… Perhaps they’re not even out of the ordinary for any of us. The girls that have the grace we all wish for, a talent and beauty we strive for, that go above the usual unspoken cattiness that girls are often (fairly or unfairly) known for. No, this type of admiration doesn’t bring about love masked with loathing, but more the inspiration for self-improvement… okay, with a little loathing on the side.

This week my crush comes in the form of Olivia Wilde at the Emmy’s. The grace that she holds herself with, the strong femininity  that she exudes, and a killer career and star status that has yet to be tainted by rumors and scandals isn’t something that many people can claim ownership to, especially in this day and age.

After watching her grace the red carpet and instantly feeling my admiration for her, I got to thinking about the perceptions that females often have for one another. I only mention it in this way because I am clearly not above it, considering that I am speaking first hand where a girl’s mind can go when they see an attractive girl in their midst.  After years of watching it happen and falling victim to it from time to time myself, I have finally learnt to draw inspiration from the admiration for girls that I feel, not jealousy! I no longer want to pick out the single flaw I can find in a girl, or hear myself say to a picture of Megan Fox “ya, she’s okay… but I hear she has hammer thumbs” (okay, maybe I’ll hold onto that one for sanity’s sake). From this day forward, I am vowing to no longer see beautiful, interesting and intelligent girls as adversaries! I will work on self improvement and satisfaction, and strive to be what I want to be… I’ll keep you posted on my progression.

I know I can’t be the only one who experiences the dilemma. We all know that the sun is bad for our skin in the long run… and try as some might to avoid getting a tan, there is always a ray or two that makes it’s way through and gives at least a hint of a sun-kissed look. The long-term effects of sun exposure are undeniable, but many would argue that so too are the short-term.

With the summer sun and a hint of a tan comes a clearer complexion, a slimming effect, natural highlights in your locks, and an increase in fresh air, food and Vitamin D.  All the effects of what tan-in-a-can and salon highlights can’t beat. As much as I know that I shouldn’t relish in these short term ‘benefits”, I admittedly do. Even worse, when my bad habit begins to retire for the winter I become stressed and sullen (inside and out!).

The changing of the seasons between fall and summer is the worst point of the year in terms of beauty for me. My tan fades and my skin gets outta whack. Even my in between make-up doesn’t match my complexion, “combination skin” is an understatement, and the blotchiness is humbling. That aside, my lips become incomprehensibly dry, my hair uncontrollable, my need to laze about rather than face the cooler temperatures becomes debilitating and my appetite for less than healthy fare… violent.

What is it about this time of year that does this to a woman? The natural side-effects of the skin trying to readjust to a different climate I can understand. But the side effects of the appetite and laziness that apparently comes hand-in-hand is a mystery to me.

After promising myself year after year that “this fall I will not let it happen to me again”, only to be utterly disappointed when it eventually does, I have finally come upon the solution. Relish in it! Unwind after a summer of family visits, full social calendars and body image stresses! Relax, get some sleep and let your skin recover. Stay cozy and comfortable with some girlfriends and snacks and have a night where you lay low and just enjoy each other’s company. And if your body wants to pack on a few pounds to keep you warmer during the summer months… Let it! The sun will come again in spring, and so too will the healthy fresh foods and bearable  temperatures for more outdoor activities to lose the pounds and get into shape once more.

Of course I don’t encourage an unhealthy lifestyle on either side of the spectrum, but more a relinquishing of the inner turmoil we create for ourselves which eventually will drive us mad!

The basic trench and the classic coat get amped up a notch with modern silhouettes, ruffles and patterns.

More and more coats and jackets are popping in up this season that have found the perfect balance between classically chic and fashionably edgy.  No longer are we pulled between investing in a simple coat that will stand the test of time while sacrificing that perfectly delectable number that you oh so want to indulge in, but your bank account just won’t let you. Designers are hitting the mark by adding tweaks to the classics, like new cuts and interesting fabrics.

Check out our picks below…

Nanette Leopore Heartbeat Coat

Nanette Leopore Heartbeat Coat

Nanette Lepore Heartbeat Coat

This coat does make my heart skip a beat. With the asymmetrical hem this coat will never be accidentally mistaken for another’s at coat check. Whether someone will try and take it on purpose is a whole other matter entirely.

See By Chloe Bow Snap Lady Coat

See By Chloe Bow Snap Lady Coat

See By Chloe’s Bow Snap Lady’s Coat is the perfect mix of prim and wild.  With jeans or your favourite LBD it will stand the test of time with the wild print being toned down with the more neutral colours of black and grey.

Clements Ribeiro Frogged Wool and Cashmere Coat

Clements Ribeiro Frogged Wool and Cashmere Coat

Clements Ribeiro Frogged Wool and Cashmere Coat

With the cream colour and the frogging, we can’t get enough of this coat. It’s loose cut, light colour and modern neckline make this statement piece one that can be worn with just about anything.

I didn’t believe it either. I never even strived for it I thought it was so far fetched, it wasn’t even something that I searched for. Like so many girls who spent their childhood splashing in water whenever they could and loving every second of it, I allowed my adolescent insecurities and young adult vanity get in the way of my fun. Curly, frizzy beach hair aside, I would get hung up on whether letting loose and going under water was worth having to spend the day concealer free with my blemishes exposed to all!

It may have had something to do with the poolside mojitos that I had enjoyed this one fateful morning at a ritzy LA hotel, but I had decided to let loose and enjoy myself in the beautiful pool that had been tempting me all week. After splashing around and swimming underwater for a good half hour I emerged from the pool to be greeted by my friend’s astonishment when they told me that my make-up was still perfect. It was true. And to stress matters further… It was make-up from the night before (a big beauty no-no, I know, but if it looks good enough sometimes you just have to keep rocking it).

Have I held you in suspense enough?! It’s almost cruel to hold out on telling you what this magic product is! The product of my dreams is Cargo’s liquid foundation! I never would have known about it had I not decided to go into Sephora and get a full consult on make-up from lip gloss to mascara. It goes on totally smooth, virtually eliminating blemishes, pores and lines while not beng so heavy that you need to pile on a whole bunch more make-up to still look “natural”. It has the best consistency and reflecting power I have seen in a foundation, and if I haven’t stressed it enough… LASTING POWER!

The beauty of it is how attainable Cargo products are. The foundation retails for about $30, lasts for about 3-4 months (and that’s me using it consistently everyday), and is carried at Sephora’s so scouting it out is never a problem either.

Now if I could only find something to make my hair silky and straight when emerging from chlorinated/salt water!

…I’ll keep you posted.

Cargo Foundation - The Best of The Best

Cargo Foundation - The Best of The Best