February 26, 2015

Hair on the Runway | Braids

Want to amp up your hair style? Don't knock the braids that you used to wear when you were in elementary school. They're making a beauty comeback. Usually braids can only take a moment to take your hairstyle from drab to fab. 

You can spice it up with a fishtail braid or french braids, either way you're going to look amazing! Braids have that je ne ces't quoi, don't you agree? It can be romantic, edgy and just plain beautiful. 

Get inspired below by some runway and celebrity looks, even one from me! 

The braids at Michael Kors. Loose and beautiful, for that perfectly undone look!

Blake Lively does fishtail braids right! This look is so feminine and classic for the red carpet. 

Rodarte backstage. The most beautiful braided hair style I've ever seen! A hair rose and braids.. sigh. I even tried out this hair style below for myself! 

Cara Delevingne makes the braid edgy and sexy all at once. She rocked this at the Punk Couture MET Gala. 

Milkmaid braids at Nicole Miller. Who could resist this classic style? It looks so cute! Yet, elegant in a timeless way.

My hair, I tried out the Rodarte look myself and loved it! 

Kristen Stewart looks fabulous with her hair style like this. A side braid into a loose bun, so lovely. 

Again, undone at Nicole Miller. So romantic, so beautiful. 

The perfect braid combo at Marissa Webb! Edgy and one of a kind. 


Love, 

Hillary Gail Stewart

February 25, 2015

The Essential Vitamin Guide for Women

We all have medicine cabinets, what are in them can vary. But do you really know what vitamins you should be taking? What they do? Do you remember to take them? Thank goodness for alarms or some days I would certainly forget to take mine! Remember, you can also get your essential vitamins for your skin through creams and potions. 

Vitamin A is a form of retinol or retinyl palmitate. They're both considered antioxidants, but retinol is the more potent form of the two. These two ingredients help to stimulate collagen and fibroblast production, which tricks your skin to look and act young. It's the perfect anti-ager so be sure not to skip this one! 

Vitamin B3 hydrates and decreases redness in your skin. It boosts production of ceramide and strengthens the skin's barrier function which is a major key in locking in that important moisture and kicking the pollutants to the street. It also helps even out your skin tone.   

Vitamin C is a known brightener for your skin. You should use it everyday! It's highly effective at helping say goodbye to wrinkles and general aging. 

Vitamin E is reperative and hydrating. It's an antioxidant that reduces free radicals and helps strengthen the moisture barrier, and you can find this miracle vitamin in treatments for stretch marks and scars. 

Fish oil is one of those amazing things that can heal you from the inside out. It can reduce aging, improve fat burning, boosts brain power and memory, not to mention it makes you glow from the inside out. I would recommend a fish oil pill rather than the liquid. 

Evening primrose oil is one of those vitamins every single woman should have in their medicine cabinet. It relives the discomfort of menstrual cramps, helps treat acne, nourishes nails and hair, it counters female infertility and can help ease joint pain. 

Biotin is a form of vitamin b. Biotin can strengthen hair and nails, improves the health of your skin, aids in weights loss, lowers cholesterol, and can help boost your hair growth! 

Vitamin D is one of those things I have to take every day. I can't skip out on it! Especially in the Winter months. It helps improve my overall mood since I don't get much sun with my skin condition (vitilago). This vitamin is also known as the sunshine vitamin. Did you know that vitamin D actually affects as many as 2,000 genes in your body? It helps with immune support and improves muscle function. It can also help keep off those winter pounds. 

 Choose wisely when you're taking vitamins! There are many choices at the store, and they're not all made equally. Do your research, and be smart. 



February 24, 2015

Stylish Expression | Pout

I have been seeing on social media the use of the "Pout" app. I was becoming increasingly curious as to what it was all about. I put it on the backburner for a few weeks thinking it was just a faze. I came across it again this morning and decided to take a gander... 

It's amazing. 

The Pout app is a platform where you can share your personal style, find inspiration and look for things you "like". It's all fashion, beauty and hair oriented which is perfect for the industry that I see myself fitting best into. The fashion journalism and blogging world is a harsh one. Not everyone makes it, but I don't do it for the page views or the sponsors. I do it for me. This app encourages personal style!


There was a time that I was ridiculed for my personal style. I was always very eclectic, yet had a little vintage vibe at the same time. I had my teen years in a small town in Ontario, and I skipped right over the Hollister and Silver Jeans faze and went right into my own little world of fashion and style. I was inspired by the pages of Teen Vogue. The Teen Vogue handbook and education (TVFU) changed my life. I didn't care what people thought. I wore finds from the thrift store and the Sears outlet and made these amazing creations, all to my own imagination. Little did I know, me showing my personal style at such a young age would impact me positively as I got older. I wore the most outlandish outfits, even know I look back and think "why on earth did I wear pink boots with THAT jacket?!", but at the time I was blissfully happy. When everyone else looked the same, and like cookie cutter versions of each other - I stood out. Looking back on my high school year book and even my beauty pageant photos I stood out.

I remember going to a conference/event in Toronto with my Mom before my beauty pageant/model days. I was approached by Ford Models, because I had "the face". I had recently cut off all my hair (literally) and had my signature full brows. The day at the tradeshow I was wearing teal and beige eye shadow from a L'Oreal booth and just having fun and being myself. They called me a few weeks after the event for a casting session. I couldn't attend because of the beauty pageant, little did I know that the beauty pageant would have other agencies calling me too! This point of this story is to let you know : JUST BE YOURSELF. Be confident in you. Keep your signature style, if you don't like it - don't wear it. 

Pout is an app where women/girls/men/boys can share their own personal style. In fact, that's what Pout is all about! It's a place for those creative souls, and I certainly wish that this all existed back when I had no one to share my creative and stylish energy with. These are going to be people who understand where you are coming from! 

I believe this app is a changing point in the world of style and fashion. Somewhere where teens and women can gain confidence and spirit when they share their own looks. 

It's free on the App Store! Sign up, be inspired and BE YOU. 

The Brunette Shake will has a separate account, and myself "Hillary Gail Stewart" also has an account! Be sure to follow me on this stylish adventure of personal expression.

February 22, 2015

Apple Cookies | Hillary's Own

I love eating apples. They're so delicious and nutritious! Not to mention, they pack a powerful punch when you're trying to wake up in the morning. I find they're even better than a cup of java to wake you up. 

I am eating healthier, feeling better and loving my body. This all comes with dedication. Today was a treat day. But I didn't want to completely go to the dark side after all my hard work. So I created a little recipe/treat that I like to call Apple Cookies. 

It's pretty simple. I mixed all my cravings into one healthy little morsel!

All you need is 4 ingredients :
Sliced Apples
Shredded Coconut
Chocolate Chips
Chunky Peanut Butter

You slice the apple into thin rings and remove the core. Spread the peanut butter over one side of the ring, top with coconut shreds and chocolate chips. You can also add other things like pecans or almonds, but I just wasn't in the mood for that this afternoon. 

Three cheers for healthy snacks! 




Spill the Beans | My New Journal

I picked up this amazing Christian Lacroix journal at Winners! I saw it from afar, and knew it had to be mine. The paper is adorned with vintage flowers, and cut outs at the edges of each page. It's the most perfect journal to write down memories and stories. I used to write in a journal/diary every day, until my parents decided to read them all when I was 13. After the breach of privacy, I stopped writing for a long time. I felt embarrassed by the words I wrote, even though they were my feelings and stories. Now, my stories can be written down and shared with my love - and I don't mind.

Your stories may be private, but every little thing that happens makes you who you are. There's no reason to be ashamed or embarrassed by the things that make you tear up, get butterflies in your stomach and knees weak. 

The first thing I wrote in my new planner was a story about my Nanny, and a conversation we had on the phone about her buying a watch when she lived in Toronto many moons ago. She would visit the watch each week and continueously put a down payment on it until the dainty watch was hers.

The purchase of a new journal can bring hope and excitement. Not to mention, this is the most beautiful journal I've ever had. If can't wait to fill it with happiness, sadness and everything in between.

February 21, 2015

How to Wear Retro Flared Denim

I've never been a huge fan of skinny jeans. Probably because I am 1. bootylicious and 2. have always had runners thighs. I would always find a pair of skinnys that were either the perfect fit everywhere except baggy around the waist, or I could get them on and they fit but would slide down and show everyone my panties. So in my dismay, I just steered clear of the elusive skinny jeans. 

When I saw the flared denim trending at the RTW shows at NYFW last week I literally sighed. It was about time! I have been wearing flared denim since I can remember. My favorite childhood pair of jeans were flared distressed denim with Bart Simpson on the right thigh. They were amazing. I wish I still had them... 

Anyways, let's cut to the chase shall we? Flared denim is BACK. 

Head on out to your local thrift stores, check out Etsy/eBay, and last but not least go to Free People and/or Anthropologie! They have never steered clear of selling flared denim and it's my first stop on the world tour of discovering the perfect flared denim jeans for myself.

 I already have the perfect white pair of flared denim, I purchased them 3 years ago at H&M for $19.99 and wear them every Summer with my brown platform sandals. It has a very 70's vibe and I love it! I also own a kickass pair of Elizabeth and James denim that look very much like a pair that Ashley Olsen was seen wearing, oh and then I have several nautical inspired pairs by Old Navy that I have owned for 7 years. Not even exaggerating! One thing I've learned from Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen is to never get rid of those pieces of clothing that may just return to style. They have a warehouse that stores all of their old clothing, even from back in the day! I wonder if they still have those go-go girl outfits from Our Lips are Sealed...

This is literally one of my favorite denim looks from Ashley Olsen. These jeans resemble the Elizabeth and James ones I own! I have always wondered if they're the same... I love the dark denim pockets I think it really makes this specific pair of denim very unique. Pairing flared denim with a leather jacket and white shirt is so simple but looks so fabulous! It makes the look more edgy than a 70's inspired look would provide. 

Get inspired and into the 70's vibe by the photos below, and see the many ways you can wear flared denim! Let me know if you find your perfect pair of flared jeans and comment below and/or on The Brunette Shake Instagram account!


Flared
Just a few pairs to get inspired when you're shopping! From the left: Michael Kors, Free People, Nordstrom, Free People, Free People. Check out Anthropologie and Free People for the most unique pairs. Grab an embellished or patterned pair of flared jeans for a really amazing look! It's all about how you style things, make it your own! 


Rahcel Bilson magazine shopping. She is wearing great dark flared denim with open toe high heels with a great blazer and belt combo. This style takes the denim to new levels, she looks classic and put together well. It makes the denim more feminine! 

One of my favorite ways to wear flared denim. Rachel paired hers with some booties, and oversized striped tee and her go-to brown leather belt. This look is very down to earth and casual. 

Suki Waterhouse (model) looks like a 70's dream in this outfit! She's wearing a one piece flared denim jumper with an amazing fur and denim coat. She is the epitome of 70's style! I can picture this look in a schoolyard way back when. Actually something my mother would have worn, but don't tell her I said that! I think she had a coat similar to that when I was looking through family albums...

Sofia Vergara looks stunning in this ensemble. She paired her dark wash flared denim with black platform heels, black tee shirt and a black bag. She looks done up and ready to either go to dinner with the girls or go shopping. Her style is very versatile! 

Nicole Richie has quickly become the woman to look at for 70's/hippie inspired style. I love how she paired her denim and white tee with a statement red blazer! She looks ready for a casual business meeting and I love it! 



Leave it to Leandra from Man Repeller to stun us! She paired these fabulous patterned flared denim jeans from Rebecca Minkoff with a sports jersey and still looks flawless! She brought her own quirky style out and ruled street style, as per usual. There's a reason women look to her for unique fashion advice!!

Karlie Kloss paired her flared denim with a black crop top, and I'm in love! Totally trying this out. 
Mary-Kate Olsen pairing her Levi flared denim with a scarf tied around her waist, white tee, and burgandy oversized cardigan. YES. So unique, she made this her own when she added the scarf tied around how waist - how inventive!

Victoria Beckham takes it up a notch and makes her flared denim classy with a great coat

Kate Moss in the classic jeans and white tee combo (I hear Lana Del Rey singing right now... "blue jeans, white shirt...")

Miranda Kerr brings it home with a pair of high waisted white denim jeans with brown open toe sandals and a patterned top. This is exactly like something I would wear. So feminine and casual, perfect for a Summer day date! 

Written by : Hillary Gail Stewart

February 20, 2015

#PolarBearSelfie

Coca-Cola wants YOU to share your #PolarBearSelfie! This is to help raise awareness about the polar bear's Arctic home, and to hopefully help aid in the increase of the polar bear population. Sadly, polar bear numbers have been drastically declining, and this is an animal close to my heart.

It's Polar Bear Week from February 23rd to 27th, if you donate to WWF a donor will match your contribution up to $130,000! 

Check out the populations of polar bear's below, thanks to WWF Canada.


 Let's be real for a minute, every animal is close to my heart, but isn't there something majestic and beautiful about polar bears?  If you're not interested in taking part in Coca-Cola's #PolarBearSelfie initiative, head on over to WWF and adopt a polar bear today! Of course, get creative with your photo and post it to your instagram account! Be sure to tag @cocacola_ca and @geniebouchard + hastag #PolarBearSelfie for your chance to win a Genie Polar Bear Prize! 

The polar bear prize includes: A Coca-Cola tote bag, a selfie stick, a WWF polar bear adoption kit, knit wits polar bear hat/mitts and a branded item signed by Genie Bouchard. 

Here's my #PolarBearSelfie, now let's see yours!!




#nowplaying | Andy Grammar - Honey, I'm Good

I discovered this song on Sirius Radio in our car. We're one of those couples that sing together in the car. We might be awful, and could scare people away that's for sure - but it's our thing.

I love this song! It's great. Not often do you hear a song that's about being faithful to your girl.

Teenage Dream | Shopaholic Diaries

After a very successful shopping day, I am still in love with my Wildfox Fruit Punch retro swimsuit I purchased from Winners for only TWO DOLLARS! I didn't even realize it was Wildfox at first, I just noticed the adorable fruit print and it reminded me of Katy Perry her California Dreams tour. I literally ran to the dressing room to try on this suit. I tried it on and was immediately in love! It fit just right, hugged my curves and eccentuated everything I've been working so hard for. 

I can't wait for the warmer months so I can rock this swimsuit like no other. Or maybe I'll bring it with me to Toronto for WMCFW at the end of March? Either way, this swimsuit is coming with me to anywhere there is water or sand. 

Right now is the perfect time to go shopping! Every store around is having massive clearance and sales. Winners, Marshall's, Joe Fresh... I think I spent 75$ in total in the past week and bought a fabulously edgy maxi dress, my wildfox swimsuit, fashion coffee table books, home decor, resistance bands and ankle weights. Plus, a whole lot of clothing from Joe Fresh including an olive green sweater dress, striped dress shirt, striped nautical shirt and a green cardigan. I've been winning those sales all week! This shopaholic shops right, without breaking the bank. 




February 16, 2015

Dianna Agron | I'm Not The Only One 60's Inspired Hair

Dianna Agron looks absolutely stunning in the I'm Not the Only One video by Sam Smith. The dress was perfect, and that hair - amazing!

The video was heartbreaking besides the style and the beauty in it. Dianna Agron did a wonderful acting job in it as the dutiful stay at home wife, while she knows her husband is out being unfaithful. I liked this video because I could relate to it, it struck a nerve. What do you do when you know the one you're with is cheating on you? It's always a hard choice as to what to do. It's almost worse when you know who he's cheating on you with... or if he cheated on his wife which was the reason for the separation. In this video Dianna's character stays with her husband and greets him with a kiss when he returns home from his mistress.

"And when you call me baby, I know I'm not the only one"

After watching the video 3 times in a row, I decided to google her hair. I knew I had to share this gem with you guys! It's a classic, 60's inspired 'do. Dianna's off the shoulder white dress is reminiscent of a wedding dress, it's stunningly beautiful and makes you think of a housewife in the past who would stay home to cook and clean.

Sam Smith says of Dianna's character's look, "So what I tried to do is keep it quite timeless. Even though Dianna is in these dresses, which housewives wouldn’t necessarily wear nowadays, I still think there’s a modern edge to it, which I love.”

Check out the photos and videos below to achieve this look for yourself!








February 13, 2015

Favorites Friday | A Relaxing Week

I love Friday - I can share with all of you all my goings-on of the week! This week was pretty relaxing, I was able to enjoy some quality time with my boo, and absolutely conquered the gym. I was a little bit anxious about using the Smith machine to do squats - but on Monday I had no fear. I worked my way up to 35 pounds x 2 plus the bar. Great progress for myself, I was very impressed. I continued with the weights over the week and I can't wait to reach that 50 pounds x 2! I'm so close I can taste it. 

I attend the local women's Goodlife fitness club. I love it there! It's very comforting working out with other women, I find it strange to work out around men. The constant stares and remarks from the men make me uncomfortable.  I really am glad to have a boyfriend who is so knowledgeable with the whole "gym lifestyle", he even trains people! He's been able to give me some great tips and tricks that I have been implementing during my daily visits to the gym. 

I'm currently training for the Spartan Race in Halifax on June 6th, 2015. It's a 5km race with obstacles afterwards. I'm pretty excited! I'll be doing this adventure with my mom and brother, Dalton. Needless to say I'm nervous running with Dalton as he is an avid long distance runner (I'm talking 30 km runs everyday!) and has won many provincial races.

 I did do a little bit of shopping this week for Valentines's Day. I'm more into creating and crafting things myself then purchasing mass produced goods. I made my boyfriend a few cute little things that I positively cannot wait to share with you guys! I'll be posting photos on Instagram as soon as I can!

I also purchased the most beautiful red lace dress from BCBG with bell sleeves, I'll show you guys a photo below - I can't wait to wear this!!! It's so perfect for Valentine's Day - it was worn on my favorite TV show "Don't Trust the B in Apartment 23". This dress was so fabulous that Krysten Ritter kept the dress and altered the sleeves and kept it for herself.



I also did a lot of winter cleaning this week. I mean, an entire BOX of unused make-up to give away. I feel so accomplished this week! I'm going to reward myself with a little unicorn horn bath compliments of Lush Cosmetics. 

My 3 favorite things this week you ask? That's easy:

Untitled #49


What are you guys proud of this week? 

Till next time , 

Hillary Gail Stewart

February 12, 2015

Watch NYFW LIVE with The Brunette Shake

LIVE New york FASHION WEEK FW 2015


Shake it Off | Taylor Swift Break-Up Playlist

It's no secret that Taylor Swift goes above and beyond for her fans. After sending Christmas gifts, paying for birthday dinner at Chipotle, private 1989 listening parties, and responding and offering help to her fans worldwide, on Tuesday she went above and beyond for a heartbroken fan on Tumblr. 
Taylor gave some amazing advice to this girl with a confused and broken heart. She also suggested a pretty rad playlist of songs to help jump start the healing process.

I love this playlist - I definitely would add a couple of Taylor's hits to make it even more of a successful break-up playlist!