March 9, 2015

Arm Candy | Statement Clutches

I recently purchased a new clutch, it's absolutely adorable! It says "arm candy" on it. It's so me, and it was only $14.99 at Marshalls. 

A photo posted by Hillary Gail Stewart (@hillarygailstewart) on

Arm Candy is definitely trending right now. As in, fun and bright clutches that guarantee a sunny disposition when you wear them. 

Some of my favorite clutches are from Charlotte Olympia (there's an Archie comic inspired clutch - I nearly died.), Sophia Webster, Aldo and Judith Leiber Couture. Of course, some of these are more than your mortgage payment - but they are absolutely stunning! I am currently doing a DIY project to make my own Archie Comic inspired clutch since I cannot justify spending $1,805 on the Charlotte Olympia one.

Here are some options for you (affordable and designer) plus some fabulous street style too!

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  How adorbs are these clutches? I mean REALLY! They're so fun! A super easy way to incorporate these into your outfit is to simply wear them with a casual outfit - think black jeans and a sweater. The clutch really makes your entire outfit "pop" and you'll be noticed for your cander!

I've seen a lot of street style bloggers and stylish gals on Instagram sport these badass clutches. There's something about them that just screams "rebel" - don't you agree?

By Hillary Gail Stewart

Focus | Margot Robbie

I recently went on a double date with my boyfriend, my brother and his girlfriend. It was fun! We went to see "Focus", a movie about a con man with twists and turns. It wasn't what I expected, honestly I found the most I took from the movie was the hair/beauty/style ideas that stemmed from Margot Robbie's character in the film. 

Margot absolutely shone in this movie. She is naturally gorgeous, and it was fun to see the different up-do's she had with her hair. There are two specific do's I plan to recreate. The first being an up-do with braids and bumps, and the second being a side sweep of wavy hair kept to the side with a leather bow hair clip. 

Margot's style was beautiful. I really enjoyed the transformation as well, the costume designer did wonders in this film. Margot's character went from more trendy style with bangles to very womanly looks. Think sleek and slim dresses...Fun fact : all of Will Smith's costumes were chosen based on psychology! Using the colours that would be more influential in trusting someone; which is the colour blue if you're curious. 

 Have you seen the movie "Focus"? What were your thoughts? 

Ta ta for now, 


Written by Hillary Gail Stewart

March 7, 2015

Kiss Me Organics Review | Matcha Green Tea Powder

I received this AMAZING product from Kiss Me Organics. It's Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder. I'm literally in love with this! 

YES I store all my smoothie stuff in blue mason jars - so sue me! I love it! 

I love to add a tablespoon to my smoothies, or to use it to make a super cool frozen green tea latte! It tastes wonderful PLUS has the following :

It's 100% organic, tested for purity, and contains up to 137x the antioxidants found in a cup of brewed tea. (No joke!)

1. ALL DAY ENERGY & FOCUS: Lift your vitality and concentration with the slow release natural energy from Organic Matcha

2. CALORIE BURNING BOOSTER: Support your weight loss goals with an all-natural way to increase your body's metabolism

3. LATTES | SMOOTHIES | BAKING: Kiss Me Organics Matcha Green Tea Powder arrives in an easy-to-use airtight health grade packaging allowing for as much or as little use as you need for any occasion. Enjoy a relaxing latte in the morning, bake a dozen cupcakes or simply add a small boost to your morning smoothie

4.Up To 137x ANTIOXIDANTS OF BREWED GREEN TEA: USDA Organic Matcha Green Tea can only be used in a powdered form because, unlike brewed green tea, it contains the entire tea leaf which dramatically increases the nutritional content.
Are you impressed yet? It didn't take me long to get addicted. I even purchased my own bag after I used up the first one so quickly!

My go-to smoothie recipe with this matcha powder is: 
1 cup vanilla soymilk
Handful of frozen (or fresh) blueberries
Scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt
Scoop of my vanilla whey powder
1 tbsp of matcha green tea powder

If you want more information here are some shopping links and information links for you:

March 5, 2015

How "The O.C." Shaped My Style

Watching The O.C. for the first time was a revelation. I didn't watch The OC right away from Season 1 though. I started watching The OC when it was in Season 3, and watched it from the beginning. About 7 times. I remember sitting in my first apartment on my lavender silk comforter in my bedroom. I fell in love with the characters and the drama. Not to mention to fashion! It was a trifecta! Summer Roberts was always my favorite. Watching her style evolve over time encouraged my own personal style to evolve, and to try new and exciting things. 

Unfortunately, I was lacking in funds to purchase all of the things I wanted to create my style, so I frequently visited the local thrift stores to score for finds. I remember there was a "stuff a garbage bag for 5$" sale down the road from my apartment. I purchased the most beautiful floral vintage dresses and lacy tops. I was full flown bohemian, just how I liked it. I had a short pixie hair cut, and rocked that free people look with ease. 

I didn’t know any girl who wasn’t envious of the wardrobes in The OC. I would cut magazines with photos from the style of the show and make mood boards. The style was my main interest in the show. The pools of fashion that Summer Roberts and Marissa Cooper had access to was essentially the same as the rest of us—polo shirts, silk camisoles, jeans, cropped cardigans, flip flops, floral dresses, jean skirts—there was always a unique twist or finishing touch to the outfit to make it quirky and one of a kind. There were ribbons as belts, tank tops and tee shirts under strapless dresses, bikini tops under sheer T-shirts (classic OC beachy style), disheveled hair with formal dresses, bandanas tied around purse straps, layered necklaces over graphic T-shirts, slip dresses as tank tops, and so on and so forth.

These characters experimented. They shook things up in a way that was cool rather than crazy and over the top. It gave me the sense that I could do the same—and, did I ever! I distinctly remember rocking a vintage flowly skirt and a tee with a cardigan just because Summer did. Seth and Summer were the best dressed couple on TV (now trumped by Blair and Chuck of course), and Seth looked so cute and punk inspired with his band, and comic book graphic tees. 

This was the real start to my independence and style. Where I could wear what I wanted, when I wanted and be confident in doing so. 

What inspired you as a teen? Did you watch The OC?

Too Faced Melted Lipstick | Review

The hype is real. 

I finally caved and ordered the Melted Jelly Donut lipstick by Too Faced from Sephora. It arrived, and I fell in love with it as soon as I swatched it on my hand. Literally. My boyfriend was with me when I opened the package and laughed at how happy I was with the lipstick. 

I mean yes, it's a little bit on the expensive side, but it's worth it. 

Before I could write a proper review for you guys, I had to use it myself a couple times to give the product a chance to show it's pros and cons. 

Literally the only con I can come up with is the price. The pros are endless - long lasting, great pigmentation, you don't need to use a lot of product, easy to handle/use applicator tip, beautiful colour... The list goes on. 

I would highly suggest heading to your local Sephora to order one or more for yourself! It's been used all week, and it's quickly moving to the front of my lipstick arsenal. I'm planning on ordering a couple more in the shades Velvet and Berry. I'm not a huge fan of nude lipsticks, so I'll be sticking to the berry and pink shades.

Next beauty review : Too Faced Soul Mates in Carrie and Big and Ross and Rachel. 

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. 


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!

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