Fashion

Back to Work for Fall

     

Top sold out – similar here, here, here and here | Pants here | Bag no longer in green – white and black here
Shoes old – similar here | Earrings here | Watch here | Bracelets here and here

Going Back To Work…

This week I went back to work! Those of you that follow along on Instagram are probably aware that I took a little bit of a break. I returned to my full time job this week after two months away. I am not ready to share exactly why I was off for those two months yet, but I will hopefully be able to soon!

I also would like to acknowledge how nervous I was about returning to my job. I have only been with the organization since March of this year. Returning to work after two months felt like I was starting all over again. However, I have a team of some pretty amazing people who accepted me back without a second thought or even skipping a beat!

In the end I am so happy I am to be back in the swing of things. I am ready to get back to posting regularly. Hopefully, you all keep following along!

Check out my last outfit post here. Check out my work beauty routine here.
Fashion

How to Style One Top Two Ways

Two Ways Two Ways Two Ways Two Ways Two Ways Two Ways Two Ways Two Ways

Outfit 1: Top here | Pants old – same but new colour here  and other here| Bag here | Shoes (old) – similar here | Earrings here
Outfit 2: Jeans here (wearing long inseam so I could cuff them) | Shoes (old) – similar here (on sale!!) | Sunglasses here

Today I thought I’d share with you how I wear one top two ways!

One for work everyday, and another for casual Friday or weekend. I looove this top! I think it is a perfect piece to transition into fall with the colours and the long sleeves. However, still has some great details with cold shoulder and ruffles. For work, I like to wear coloured pants all the time, and these burgundy ones went so well with this top! Accessories wise, I wanted to keep the focus on the top so I kept them neutral.

Hope you all have a great long weekend ahead!

Check out my last weekend’s look here. Check out my work beauty routine here.
Advice, Beauty

How I Do My Makeup For Work

Makeup For Work Makeup For WorkMakeup For Work Makeup For Work

I am just going to put this out there right at the beginning of this post. I love makeup and I do like to put a decent amount of it on my face every day. It is something I really enjoy doing in the morning! This look may not be for everyone but I thought I would share what I like to do on most days for my makeup for work. I have mastered doing my makeup at a certain speed so this whole look takes me about 10 minutes!

Typical Rules for Office Makeup

First I thought I’d start with discussing those typical what you should and shouldn’t do for workplace makeup. These are things I have read on the internet and heard being discussed around the office.

1. Not too-much eye makeup.

I have read everything from stick to matte and subtle greys and browns, avoid anything like black, blue or too glittery. Go light on the mascara and no black eyeliners (stick to plum or soft brown liners).

2. Not too-much blush, bronzer, highlighter or contour.

Another stick to just a touch of color, nothing to shimmery. Don’t even bother contouring it will always look like too much. Bronzer should be applied with a gentle hand so it once again is not too much.

3. Pink lips, little gloss.

Avoid too much gloss; go for a long lasting neutral pink or peach lipstick. The lips shouldn’t be too distracting.

4. Manicured nails.

Keep your nails short, clean and neutral-colored, so once again stick to light pinks and neutrals.

Sooooo all of this sounds like not a lot of fun to me. I will say the rules really do depend on your work environment, and this style of makeup may be the required for some workplaces. I have a little freedom in my office, so I do feel comfortable to push those typical boundaries a smidge.

My Makeup For Work

Eyes

I do tend to stick to that tried and true brown eyeshadows you see in these photos. But honestly, I love a good shimmer or even *shocked gasp* and little glitter. For my everyday makeup, I like to wear a darker brown through my crease with a medium brown over the rest of my eyelid, both shimmery. I then line my upper lash line with a black liquid eyeliner (I keep it quite thin).  Then I like to focus on my lashes. First I curl my lashes, apply a lash primer, and finally at least two coats of mascara. Generally, one coat is a lengthening mascara while the other coat will be a thickening mascara.

Some twists I do on this makeup include a glittery eye. Yep you heard me! I use this product right in the corner through about half way on my eyelid, with a medium brown eyeshadow in my crease and for the rest of my eye. With this look, I find the key blending the glitter and the other eye shadow. I also wouldn’t wear eyeliner with this eye look to reduce the intensity. Funny enough, my boss has actually complimented me on this eye look. She liked it because it was not to in your face but still fun for the office. Just make sure if you ever try this to keep the rest of your face calm, aka a light blush and no colour on your lips.

Face

Well, anyone whose seen my photos or me in my daily life knows, I looooove me some cheek colour. It is my “look” and what I am known for. However, I do make sure for work that I stick to non-shimmery cheeks as I tend to wear a shimmery eye. I apply blush to the apples of my check and then blend upwards along my cheek bones.

I also contour every day, but I am also kind of lazy about it so I only do a cheek contour, and I make sure, which you should be doing all the time anyways that it is blended well. During the summer, I add a light touch of bronzer to those areas where the sun would hit my face. However, I live in Canada, bronzer in the winter with my pasty skin at times looks way out of place. I then do a light dusting of powder over my face to help keep everything I have applied in place and for those shiny spots. Finally, I do like a nice subtle highlighter. I personally don’t like to over highlight for work or for play, rather to just use it to enhance the dewy look my skin. I apply my highlighter just above where I have put my blush along my cheek bone and blend it in.

Lips

Just from checking out these photos I think you can tell I broke the rule above! If I am wearing a pretty simple eye and cheek I tend to ignore this rule. I wear whatever lip colour I am feeling that day. It is one of those fun elements I can bring into my work look without it being too out there. I think this is more acceptable now with the makeup culture these days. Lips are a big thing (think Kylie Lip Kit). However, even I will never venture into those black, dark purple or even blue lips I have seen floating around.  One way I like to incorporate a brighter lip is I wear a lip that matches the clothes I am wearing (see here). My boss has even complimented my ability to match my bright lips to my tops!

Nails

Okay I definitely half break this rule. I have fake nails (acrylic with a gel overlay), and I sure as heck don’t know anything that would make me give them up. Without them, I bite my nails when I am stressed, completely destroying my natural nails. I do tend to keep them pretty short (as my nail lady tells me, my nails are boring compared to a lot of peoples) BUT I tend to have some bright colours put on them (but very little decoration/nail art, if any).

I read somewhere something along the lines of “why would you want to be known as the girl with bright nails”. Personally, I have never had this be a problem, but I will say that my jobs so far are not those very strict black, blue or grey suit environments. Besides, what’s wrong with having a great conversation starter attached to your hands? So far, for me, that’s what my nails have actually been!

As you can see, I do tend to break some of the makeup for work rules that are floating around. The key is only having one area of your makeup break those rules discussed above. No glittery eyes and bright lips at the same time! Also, as I said, I do not work in the typical business formal setting. As long as I look professional for the day, I have never had a problem. Most importantly, you have to wear what is comfortable for you. I love makeup and it gives me confidence, but I know a ton of women who feel their best wearing no makeup at all!

Products I Used

Face Makeup #1

Face PrimerFoundation | Powder (not pictured)

Contour | Bronzer | Blush |Highlighter

Darker Brown Shadow (in Smog)| Medium Brown Shadow (in My Teddy Bear)

EyelinerMascara PrimerLengthening MascaraThickening Mascara

Setting Spray | Lipstick | Eyebrows

Fashion

My Weekend Style

Weekend Style Weekend Style Weekend Style Weekend Style Weekend Style Weekend Style Weekend Style

Sweater Top sold out – similar here on sale! | Jeans here (I really like the different inseam options)| Flats (old) – similar here

Happy weekend! Just wanted to share a quick look for running around doing errands.

Please ignore look on my face in some of these pics, I was learning to embrace the wind!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Fashion

My Picks for the ShopStyle Private Sale

Major News!

ShopStyle is hosting a private sale this week with some fabulous retailers with discounts ranging from 20% to 30%!!!* The sale is running from August 23rd to August 27th!

This is a great time to invest in some pieces for your fall work wardrobe. Yes it is August I know, and where you live may still be warm. However, as we all know winter will come! Check out the promo codes and my top picks for my favourite places below.

Club Monaco – CODE: SHOPSTYLE20

 

Club Monaco is one of those stores where I do find that the quality of the items means I am willing spend just that little bit more. I know I will get the cost per wear out of the items because they will last over several seasons.
There was definitely a theme to my choices here. White tops, with great details, to be matched with skirts that are right on trend for fall. My top pick is definitely this skirt. The colour is amazing!

BCBGeneration – CODE: SHOPSTYLE20OFF

BCBG has some great items that you can wear now and easily transition to your fall wardrobe or even your winter wardrobe. For all of the sleeveless tops I have linked, I would add a blazer or a nice cardigan for the office to be more appropriate. Check out this rose coloured skirt, it is the perfect length to be worn with sandals, pumps or boots for the winter! I have definitely already added it to my shopping cart!

Other Retailers in the Sale

YOOX – 20% off – CODE: YOOXSHOPSTYLE (To much to choose from on this site! Click the link to check it all out.)

FAME & PARTNERS – 25% off – CODE: SHOPSTYLE25 (Already thinking about Christmas party dresses)

EQUIPMENT – 20% off – CODE: SHOPSTYLE20 (click the link for a great work top!)

BANDIER – 20% off – CODE: SHOPSTYLE20 (linked to the cutest cardigan for keeping at your desk during those cold months)

WALA SWIM – 30% off – CODE: SHOPSTYLE30 (cutest swimwear for that winter vacation)

GENUINE PEOPLE – 20% off – CODE: SHOPSTYLE20 (the most gorgeous dress for transitioning seasons!)

REBECCA TAYLOR – 20% off – CODE: SHOPSTYLERT (this whole outfit for the office – amazing!)

JOIE – 20% off – CODE: SHOPSTYLE20 (great basic, black blazer)

PARKER – 20% off – CODE: SHOPSTYLEPK (a great top to wear with a coloured blazer to work through fall and winter)

NA-KD – 22% off – CODE: SHOPSTYLEUS22 (so many cute and affordable items to check out!)

FRANK & OAK – 20% off – CODE: SHOPSTYLE20 (my new favourite off-duty sweatshirt!)

BODEN – 20% off – CODE: SSYL (all I need to say is ruffled cardigan, but even more it is the perfect pink)

Have a great time shopping everyone!

***Exclusions apply. Promo codes only valid on full-price items for Club Monaco, NA-KD, Rebecca Taylor, and Parker. For Genuine People, codes are valid on select items. Code excludes Ultracor New Arrivals at Bandier.

Advice, Personal

Making the Right Decision

Decisions, decisions, decisions. Change can be so hard, but sometimes it truly is for the best. Late last year I found myself in a place I never thought I would be. I was faced with some life changing decisions regarding my career, health and happiness.

Making DecisionsMaking Life Decisions

The not so good times…

The organization I had been working with full time for a couple of years full time (where I had also worked for years part-time while I went to Uni) was again doing mass layoffs. I made it through the first 2 rounds of layoffs. I was obviously relieved to still have a job but survivors guilt is a real. In October, the 3rd round hit. In the end, my team was now less than half the size it had originally been. With that I watched people I had known, some for many years have to leave. It was at that time the survivor’s guilt hit an all-time high. People with children and families to support were now without jobs and income. So there I was, expected to do my job, as if nothing had happened.

Anyone who has been through layoffs like these knows that organizations may cut your team but the expectation is to keep producing the same quantity and quality of work. This led me to feel like I had to work extremely long hours to complete everything by the deadlines. Let’s just say, without going into too much detail (maybe I will post about it later), I went into stress overdrive. I became extremely forgetful, I couldn’t sleep and I ended up having anxiety attacks. I did end up taking some time off to recuperate and figure out coping mechanisms, but this was the final straw for me.

Making Life Decisions Making Life Decisions

Doing what I had to do…

I had been looking at changing jobs for over a year at this point. I really wanted to continue to advance my career and was looking for a job one step above my current role. Nothing I applied for led to an interview, except for one instance, and right after that interview I knew it was not the place for me. Jumping to a place I was unsure about from a place that was stressful, but I knew so well, is a very nerve wracking concept. However, once I returned to work again, being in that high stress environment, I made the ultimate decision to get out. I began apply for jobs in earnest, using my connections and the help of recruiters.

Making Life Decisions Making Life Decisions

Top here (on sale!) | Pants (sold out) – similar here and here (both on sale)| Purse – similar here | Wedges (old) – similar here and here

Finally, some good news!

This time I was lucky. I ended up receiving two job offers in the same day. Both were a promotion, which I knew I had earned, but there were significant differences in both the compensation and the industries. One organization was going to have a much less steep learning curve, good compensation but an business I had heard had had its own trials similar to where I was leaving over the last couple of years. On the other hand, the other organization offered me what I hoped was a safe environment after what I had gone through, but with smaller compensation and a huge learning curve.

So how do I make decisions? Annoyingly to most people around me, I talk about it repeatedly, for hours on end, to everyone I can find.  I ask for advice and input from anyone and everyone. I know for some people this would not help them, but I look for that devil’s advocate to show me the other side and perspective of my options. In the end, I do always come to a decision (and there will always be moments of reflection where perhaps the decision was not the best). However, I have ended up in a job where I now feel calm, supported and welcome.

Anyone else made some big changes recently for your career? How did you make the decision? Leave me a note in the comments.

Advice, Fashion

The Power of Habit

 

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

Top here | Skirt (old) – similar here and here | Wedge Shoes (old) – similar here | Watch here | Earrings here and here | Purse here

One of my favourite things to do on my commute for work has been to read a book and listen to music to pass the time. This started in University when I realized I could use this time to do all my textbook readings. In these last couple of years, on my way to and from work, reading some self-improvement and business minded books has helped me fill this time. Nowadays, I have become addicted to podcasts as I drive to work, but I will leave that for another post. Today I wanted to share with you one of most recent reads that I really enjoyed…

We all have habits that we both rely on and get stuck on every day. One habit I have is that when I get to work every day is to check my calendar and prepare my priority list for the day which helps with my productivity for the day. On the other hand, a bad one is my addiction to Starbucks coffee every morning (ahem… yes I know basic), which is expensive and not always the most healthy. Some habits are great and some are a part of being human and the difficulty we as humans have with handling change. Right now I am in the process of trying to break my Starbucks habit and maybe some other bad habits I have picked up over the course of my career.

In The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, the author uses numerous individual and business examples to show how you can achieve success by focusing on those daily patterns and habits that make up our lives. The first step in this is to understand how to change your bad habits and form good ones in their place. The author then goes through a simple, yet for me, life changing process for how you can change your habits and replace them with better ones.

While I am still working on changing that expensive and not always healthy Starbucks habit, this book has shown me that you can follow a method to change your habits. Once I have kicked this one habit, I hope to move on and apply this process to other habits in the future. You know… maybe like a regular workout routine…

Are there any books that have inspired you lately? Let me know in the comments, I would love to find some new reading material!

Advice, Life, Personal

A Quick Introduction

Happy Friday everyone! It is hard to believe that I am finally doing this, and working towards a goal I have thought about for so long. I couldn’t think of a better way to start this blog off than by getting a little personal right off the bat with a quick introduction. You can also check out my “About” page here.

Name: Courtney

Age: 27 (almost 28)

Height: Almost 5’7”

Status: Newlywed, married April 22, 2017

Education

I have a Bachelors of Commerce in Management from MacEwan University. I am a Certified Internal Auditor and also Certified in Risk Management Assurance. Almost finished my Chartered Professional Accountant designation. (I know sounds like a lot, but I really love school!)

Job

Internal Auditor (please don’t let that scare you off)

Purpose

I have always had a passion for mentorship and helping others navigate their careers. In University, I participated in clubs and sought opportunities to help my fellow students navigate their education and learn about the career opportunities open to them.

I entered the corporate world as a very young woman at 18. My first job was at an organization that has over 10,000 employees. I have since moved on to work at both smaller and larger organizations. During my career, I have had some amazing mentors who not only taught me how to excel at my job, but encouraged me in every way possible. I have since looked to mentor, build and grow relationships with my co-workers and peers to help us all on the path to success.

I have  always found (encouraged by my fashionable mom) that the way I dressed helped me with confidence in the corporate world. This was especially true when I was significantly younger and inexperienced than people I was working with, which continues to this day.

It is my goal that this blog will not only provide you with great outfits to wear to the office and on your weekends off. Hopefully it will also help young women, like myself, navigate the corporate world with confidence.

Please let me know if there are any topics you’d like for me to write about in the comments. Thanks for reading!

Blazer (old)  – similar here (on sale!) | Dress (old) – similar here | Wedge Sandals (old) – similar here (also on sale!) | Watch here and alternate here

Life, Personal

The Beginning of ‘The Courtney Collection’

Photo By: Photoflow

 The Courtney Collection…. the beginning of a new adventure.

I know what my husband, my family and close friends will say (something along the lines of “why add more to your plate…”) but creating this blog is something that has been on my mind for a couple of years now.

I am getting so close to achieving one of my goals this September and with that chapter of my life closing soon I can’t help but look to a new goal and a new challenge for myself. This one will take me outside of my comfort zone but I know that it will also allow me new experiences that I have been craving. I hope to share with you some awesome outfits for your work and weekends, makeup and skincare to love, and also dive deep into my experiences in the corporate world as a young woman.

As for the picture attached to this post, I couldn’t think of a better picture to kick off this blog with than one that shows the happiest day of my life so far. In April, I got married in the beautiful town of Canmore, Alberta to my wonderful, supportive husband. He always said he would be willing to be my “Instagram husband”.

So here goes…