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12 Props to step up your photo game

To do, Oh what to do with your hands? That is the question...

When it comes to posing for photos, be it for my blog, for my Instagram or even for a little snippet video for myself, I can never know what to do with my hands. Now I'm not saying that I'm a professional model, but I've found that it's a lot easier to make your hands look more natural in photos by simply adding a prop. The problem is... you can't use the same prop too many times, that's too obvious and maybe a little boring. That's why I've combined a list of various props you could have when posing for a more natural and candid look. 

1. Coffee cup/drink

If you're a coffee addict like me, this should be an easy one. The choices are endless : hot coffee, slushies, bubble tea, milkshakes, etc. Sip on your drink while posing, and your photos will be candid !

2. A cute little Umbrella

Rainy Day? Don't let it stop you from getting that perfect photo! Add a cute little umbrella to your shot. Not only is it a necessity but it gives the photo a story line. If the sky doesn't cooperate, just change it! Nothing a little editing couldn't fix.

P.S : you can also get the tiny clear umbrella from your local Dollarama for super cheap

3. Newspaper

Not only is this a great prop, but newspapers can also be free. Grab any free newspaper from a newstand at any bus/train station and get creative. 

4.  Portable Fan

Need some air? Grab a fan and get that windy/breezy look! It's an easily accessible prop that's available in most stores or that you could probably find at home already. Take multiple shots until you're satisfied. 

5. Basket of fruits/fruits

Fruit picking is an amazing fun activity that can be enjoyed with friends and family. Spend some time with your loved ones and turn it into a photoshoot. It's a win win! And what better than a fruit basket filled with fresh fruits as a prop for photos? 

6. Flowers/Leaves/Nature

Look around, explore your surroundings and see what you could use in your photos. Some of the best props are available for free. You just have to keep an open mind and trust in the process. Whether you buy a bundle of roses, or using a fallen Autumn leaf as a prop, nature is by far my most favourite. However when it comes to taking photos with natural props, I prefer close up shots as opposed to wide angles when it comes to landscapes. I find that it keeps the focus on the beauty of nature and as a result makes the photo more authentic. 

7. Collection of things (phone cases)

Having an obsession could be a good thing! I used this idea for a promotional shoot I did for @IdealOfSweden (phone case company) and it turned out to be creative and unique while also showcasing their cases. 

8. Camera/phone 

Pretty basic to mention the technologies that we normally use to take the photos, am I right? But, it's true! Digital cameras, phones, vintage cameras, etc. are all great additions to have for photos. Not only to take the photos, but to be in them as well. 

9. Sparklers

The inner child in me is always happy to get sparklers. I don't know what it is about them, but they're just so much fun. So why not add them for a cute new year/birthday/celebration photo? Not only are they so much fun, but they can also be found pretty much in most dollar stores at a very ridiculously cheap price.

10. Balloons

Balloons are perfect for celebrating an occasion. Just like sparklers, balloons do not cost much. Nowadays, there are so many different shapes, sizes and types of balloons available pretty much everywhere. Grab yourself some cool balloons and get that shot!

11. Food

Food is always a MUST! Growing up, I was always told not to mess around with my food. As an adult, my food is not just food, but also a prop. 

P.S : the photo on the left was posted on Narcity and I am beyond excited about that!

12. Sunglasses/Glasses

This is my go-to selfie pose : holding the frame. It's the perfect effortless pose, especially if you're like me aka blind AF. 

You’ve reached the end of this blog. For more creative and fun photos, follow me on Instagram : @aanahsarah.
If you use any of the props for your own photos, don’t forget to tag me, I would love to check them out.

Until then, live a little... 
A little lot ♥️

Beauty Finds of 2019 (Budget Friendly & High-end)

I'll admit it: I am a MAKEUP ADDICT! And by that, I don't mean that I am always wearing makeup because if you end up seeing me anywhere, I'm usually rocking my natural look. I mean MAKEUP ADDICT, as in I love love loooove adding more to my makeup collection. I love testing, experimenting and having multiple options to choose from when it comes to makeup.

However in 2019, I feel like I focused a lot more on my skin care, which is an absolute must in my opinion as it creates a good foundation for any makeup look. The tail end of 2019 was a really tough and stressful year due to some personal health reasons. You can only imagine all the breakouts and acne scars that continue to haunt me.

Anyway, let's move on from all that to talk about the real content of this blog post : My 2019 Beauty Finds. These are products that I have already restocked, or plan to continue adding to my basket. In this list there are some amazing budget friendly beauty/skin care finds, as well as some high end beauty/skin care finds.

♥  Translucent Powder - Laura Mercier
♥  Setting Mist- Morphe
♥  Himalayan Charcoal Face Mask & Cleanser - The Body Shop
♥  Coffee Face Mask - The Body Shop
♥  Glitter Eye shadow palette - Pixi Beauty
  ♥  Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin C - The ordinary
♥  Vitamin C Glow Moisturizer - ORIGINS
♥  Concealer - Maybelline

☆  Translucent Powder - Laura Mercier
The Translucent Powder has been a game changer in my makeup routine. I had always heard a lot of good things but never felt the need to add it to my routine. Last year, I decided to give it a try as a sample reward from Sephora. Next thing I knew, two months later, I was going back to Sephora for the regular size. I use it every time I wear makeup, and unlike the conventional way of using the translucent powder to bake all over the face, I only use it under my eyes. I find the powder to be best applied lightly with a fluffy eyeshadow brush.
Price $51

☆  Setting Mist - Morphe
Not that I am an absolute fan of James Charles, but I do recognize his talent as a makeup artist. I discovered the Morphe Setting Mist while watching one of James' videos, and decided to give it a try. It is an affordable/budget friendly setting mist on the market. Just like James Charles, I fell in love with the mist as opposed to the spray of other brands. Trust me, you just have to give it a try to notice the difference.
Price $20

☆  Himalayan Face Mask & Cleanser - The Body Shop
I had the amazing experience to collaborate with The Body Shop last year and review some of their new products. The Himalayan Charcoal face mask and cleanser were some of my favourites during that collaboration that have made their way into my routine, and are constantly being added to my basket. I love the Himalayan Charcoal face mask to treat my skin for acne. It is a very drying face mask however, so I would not recommend it for people with very dry skin. I use it on parts of my face where I deem it to be needed the most.
The Himalayan Charcoal Face Cleanser is perfect to remove makeup, to freshen up the skin with a quick wash and remove any impurities after a makeup remover. It works perfectly to clean up makeup brushes as well.
Face Mask - Price $28 $19.60
 Cleanser - Price $18 $12.60

☆  Coffee Face Mask - The Body Shop
Being a dedicated coffee addict, I absolutely had to try this. I would say I use it more as a face scrub refresher as opposed to face mask. With the coffee texture, it works as an amazing exfoliator and does what it's meant to : awaken the skin. It leaves you with an amazing fresh radiant glow and makes you look less fatigued - just like coffee 
Price $28 $19.60

☆  Glitter Eyeshadow Palette - Pixi Beauty
I had heard a lot of reviews about Pixi beauty from YouTube videos and Instagram bloggers. However, I am not very fond of buying makeup online. I prefer in person, in store as not all goes with my skin complexion as I think it would. I was excited to find some Shoppers Drugmarts in Canada carrying them. I lucked out with the glitter eyeshadow palette, which I got from Winners for almost half the price.
Pros : The palette is extremely pigmented. A little goes a long way.
Cons : I would prefer the palette even more if it carried some basic warm matte eyeshadow. Only glitter eyeshadows in a palette feels more like a highlighter palette. Instead whenever I use the Pixi beauty glitter palette, I always have to combine it with another eyeshadow palette in order to create a look.
Price $24

☆  Hyaluronic Acid & Vitamin C- The Ordinary
Hyaluronic Acid has a lot of benefits for the skin.  It attracts and holds on to moisture which allows the skin to feel more hydrated and plump. I found out about this product from a YouTube video of Melissa Alatorre dedicated to her skin care. I gave it a try since this product was so budget friendly. I mean it was too good to be true : both products for a little over $10 #MindBlown. Since then, I have always had this product stocked up, I constantly use it during the day to refresh my skin and TBH I just love it since it gives my skin such a glowing and hydrated finish.
Hyaluronic Acid - Price $6.80
Vitamin C - Price $5.80

☆  Vitamin C Glow Moisturizer - fresh
Moisturizing is a MUST for me; makeup or no makeup. It's the most basic and most needed step in my everyday beauty routine. After brushing my teeth in the morning, I always moisturize. If I got in the shower midday, I moisturize again. Before putting on makeup, I moisturize, after I take my makeup off, I moisturize again. Ever since summer last year, I've fallen in love with the Vitamin C Glow Moisturizer from fresh. I use it religiously every day. I have already restocked this item 4 times and I always keep a back up in case I run out. I know, right? Obsessed much?
Tip : Always make sure to moisturize your neck as well (Avoid those wrinkles and dryness)
Price $55

☆  Concealer - Maybelline
Along with my amazing budget friendly Sephora Concealer, I discovered the Maybelline Concealer - the drugstore concealer. I decided to give it a try. Fair warning though, I had to try 3 different ones to find my shade. It's tough to find a match since you cannot swatch or try it. It's a trial and error at first but once you find your shade, it's a smooth ride from there.

While writing this blog post, I discovered a fun little trick on the Shoppers Drug Mart website. They have a virtual try on, where you could either do a live try on or upload a photo and you'll have an idea how the shade looks on you.
Pros : It lasts really long. A little goes a long way. It's very buildable if needed.
Cons : I find it to be a tad bit dry for my taste but it does the job 😏
Price $12.99

That's all for my Beauty Finds in 2019. Have you tried any of these products?
I would love to know some of your amazing finds as well. Let me know πŸ’‹

Maroon Colours for Fall/Autumn πŸ‚

Summer is over... Unfortunately, that also means that the days are shorter, the air is crispier, and the temperature is lower and lower everyday. Styling outfits during a transition weather period can be a hassle. It's that time of the year when wearing a sweater seems like a good idea in the morning but in the afternoon, you're regretting it. I've already experienced it once.

While fall is difficult to style for when there are days so warm and other days when you just want to hide behind your blanket, it is however the time of the year to bust out any fall colour pieces stacked at the back of your closet. Anything maroon/brown, burgundy, mustard, yellow, olive green, navy blue, plum, etc.

I've dedicated this blog post entirely on incorporating the maroon colour for a perfect Fall πŸ‚wardrobe.
The brown girl chose the maroon colour, are you surprised? πŸ˜‹

Subtle Maroon Colour in 
Accessories - Belt & Cross Body Bag
This outfit was definitely out of my comfort zone but is my favourite of all. It's the perfect transition for those warm Summer-Fall days. It has a very subtle touch of maroon in the accessories I chose for the outfit : Western Brown Belt, Brown Cross Body Bag. I layered my lace black choker necklace with two pendant necklaces. As for the outfit, I chose to pair my asymmetric black denim skirt with the textured over the shoulder crop top from H&M and finished the look with my favourite pair of ankle boots from Nasty Gal.

Maroon Shirt with Maroon Cross Body Bag
This corduroy shirt couldn't be more perfect for those crispy and chilly Fall weather days. To change it up from the norm, the usual the jeans & shirt look, I paired it with a black maxi pleated skirt instead. It's a perfect skirt to twirl around in. Can you believe that I scored this skirt from wish.com for $5? I wore my wide ZARA belt, bought from Winners to hide the elastic part of the skirt (not a fan of elastic showing in an outfit). To add a little more height, I paired with chunky boots from Nasty Gal and threw on my faux leather jacket from TopShop to stay warmer.

Maroon Mini Skirt w/ Fluffy Sweater

Let me just start by saying that this sweater was gifted to me by my dad for my birthday. I have two very similar sweaters and I was shocked that my dad is finally understanding my taste. I'll probably be wearing it a lot during Fall and Winter. There's something about the fluffiness that makes it so cozy and comfortable. I paired it with my mini suede buttoned skirt from ZARA and my chunky boots. A perfect transition outfit for the days when it's not too hot or not too chilly.

Maroon Overalls w/ OTK Boots
To stay in tune with the Halloween theme, I paired this corduroy rusty orange/maroon overalls from Forever 21 with my favourite black turtle neck from ZARA. I added some sheer tights to stay warmer and wore my over the knee boots from ALDO.

I've also created a little collage of other outfit combinations that I would 100% wear. I hope you like my personalized "mΓ©lange". I had a lot of fun creating them and absolutely love how they turned out. Let me know which outfit is your favourite in the comments.

Crop Top - Skirt Arrow Bangle -
Boots Layered Necklace - 
Cross Body Bag - Snake Ring
Coat - Sweater - Ripped Jeans - Boots
Fedora Hat - Bandana - Necklace - Anklet - Round Glasses

Summer Dresses Diaries 2019

Happy Friday everyone! Did you enjoy this short work week? For those heading back to school this week, Gluck, you got this!

Unfortunately, Labour Day and First Day of School are all signs of the end of Summer.
Perfect Summer days in Canada are very limited.  You better believe that I enjoy every minute of Summer by pulling out my Summer Dresses and flaunting my genetically tanned legs 😝

With Summer coming to an end, I decided to put together a Summer Dresses Diaries 2019 featuring all the new dresses I've added to my closet this year.

I've named this blog post "Diaries 2019" with hope of turning this into a new series of Summer Dresses.
Keep your fingers crossed for Summer Dresses Diaries 2020🀞

Outfit 1 - Spaghetti Straps Yellow Dress
This dress from Winners was a steal for $29.99. The straps were adjustable. I loved the fit, the asymmetry and the length of the dress.  I loved how simple and comfortable this dress was, yet with a touch of elegance. The only downside of this dress is the texture: Linen. It creases very easily but for such a gorgeous and flattering dress, it's worth ironing.
To accessorize this beautiful dress, I paired it with a gold thread choker necklace and a pendant necklace. I wore my flat sandals from Ardene and a hat.


Outfit 2 - Puffy Sleeves Polka Dot Dress 
Also from Winners for the price of $29.99, I cannot count how many times I've worn this dress all Summer long. I was on the lookout for a polka dot dress and this one caught my eye the minute I walked down the aisle. It's a very subtle polka dot pattern on this gorgeous bright orange fabric. The dress has a fabric belt, which can be tied either in the front or at the back. I prefer to tie it at the back since it accentuates my waist more. 
For accessories, I chose a gold thread choker necklace, a pendant necklace, some rings, and I finished the look with my gorgeous boots from Nasty Gal, which btw are the perfect dupe for Prada's Block Heel Leather Bootie πŸ‘

Outfit 3 - Puffy Sleeves Shirt Dress
Have you noticed a pattern? It's pretty clear that I've been digging the puffy sleeves trend. This shirt dress was a MUST though! It is the most comfortable and loose Linen dress I own. This dress is pretty much TomBoy Style dreams, and has my name written all over it. Originally from ZARA, I thrifted this striped shirt dress from Plato's Closet for $15. 
I chose to accentuate my waist by pairing it with a wide black belt also from ZARA but bought from Winners. For shoes, I chose my laced block heel sandals from Urban Planet and I wore my feathery earrings from Ardene that I bought a while back.

Outfit 4 - Belted Striped Dress
Another pattern? Loving the stripes πŸ’–
I bought this dress from H&M for those business chic days. The dress comes with a belt, though I don't quite like how it's meant to be tied. I'm more of "bow" kind of girl. I love the mid length sleeves of the dress making it a perfect summer dress as well as transitional dress into either Spring/Fall.
To accessorize this dress, I wore my Calvin Klein watch, Michael Kors lock bracelet and a simple snake pendant necklace. To finish the look, I wore my brown Ankle Boots.

We have reached the end of this blog post: Summer Dresses Diaries 2019 🌟
Let me know in the comments below which dress do you like best

7 Skirt Outfits for 7 days of Summer

A few years ago, if you had told me that I would be styling and loving skirts as much as I do now, I would probably tell you that you're either dreaming or that you're out of your mind... Back then, I used to own one skirt and the only reason why is because it was a wrap skirt with pockets.

The last few years, not only have I moved across the globe, but my style, taste, and wardrobe have drastically changed.  Don't get me wrong, I'm still the girl who's most comfortable in jeans, and a t-shirt. I enjoy exploring my girly wardrobe every now and then, as I like to mix and match different styles in different outfits.

I have to say however, incorporating skirts in my wardrobe has been tough... I'm very picky about clothes and lately I've developed a mindset that I wouldn't purchase any clothing unless I was to showcase them on the blog or on Instagram.  So far, that mentality has been amazing as it has helped me save money $$$. 

The skirts that I've chosen to style for this blog post are hand picked after careful consideration for numerous reasons.  I wear skirts mostly in the summer but I also transition them into either Spring, Fall or even Winter with a pair of tights underneath (Snake Skin Trend Outfit, 1 Item 5 ways: Black Turtle-neck, Fall's Back with Plaid, Spring Blues, Leather on Leather). I wanted to showcase for this blog post 7 different ways of styling my favourite skirts for those hot Summer days.

I fell instantly in love with this skirt the minute I set my eyes on it in the store. It reminded me of the only skirt I used to own years ago since it has pockets as well.  I love the convenience of being able to stash my phone away in the pockets, I love the texture of the skirt and love how much volume/puffy look it has.  I really wanted to get the white version of this skirt but it was a bit too see through for my taste. I picked out the dark blue colour instead and paired it with my floral over the shoulder top from GAP, and my espadrilles denim sandals for a more elegant look.  

Outfit 2 - Midi Length Skirt from H&M (similar)

The first skirt is probably one of my favourites.  This skirt from H&M has a very subtle white on black dotted pattern and it's very elegant and comfortable.  It's perfect for a casual or work day, which is exactly what I needed to add to my wardrobe. 
I've styled the same skirt 2 different ways and I've paired it both times with sneakers for a more casual look. 

Outfit 3 - Mini Skater Skirt from Ardene (similar from H&M)

Mini Skirts have become quite a staple piece in my wardrobe.  I especially love them as I can style them even in Spring/Fall/Winter by layering them with a thick pair of tights and still look cute. This one is a staple piece and perfect to pair with pretty much anything since it's black. This time, I paired it with one of my absolute must have tshirt from Uniqlo, and my white Nike sneakers. To accessorize the whole outfit, I wore my black choker lace necklace, and Daniel Wellington watch. 

Outfit 4 - Maxi Floral Skirt from Urban Planet

With a front slit, this skirt is a little too exposed for my taste, so I usually just tie it up with a safety pin and it does the job.   I love the fit of this skirt and how it accentuates the features of my body (yes, I mean πŸ‘).  It's perfect for hot summer days; a somewhat formal look yet comfortable and lots of room to breathe.  I paired it with the white Uniqlo shirt, and my gorgeous block heels boots from Nasty Gal.  I bought the mini white backpack from ALDO when they were having their sale and I've been loving it and use it on a daily basis.  I love the minimal look of it with a lace detailing in the front pocket and the size is just perfect to fit my camera and anything else I would need. 

Outfit 5 - Mini Denim Skirt from Forever 21 (similar)

This skirt was a steal. I bought it 2 years ago from the clearance section for $8.  It fits like a glove and is extremely flattering and versatile. I can dress it up or down with any colour blouse/shirt/crop top and it would still look absolutely gorgeous. The possibilities are endless. 
Today, I've styled it 2 different ways to show you how versatile it can be.

Outfit 6 - Midi Asymmetric Skirt from Dynamite

This was the first skirt I bought after moving to Canada, and it's probably one of my top piece of clothing.  I love how elegant and graceful it is. The asymmetry gives it a unique look and the floral pattern is top notch. I usually pair it with a long sleeves blue top during spring time (posted it last year on Spring Outfits), but for summer, I pair it with a blue tank top. I wore some comfortable low block heel sandals with it and that's it.

Outfit 7 - Mini Denim Skirt with patches from ASOS

Let me just say that this skirt is not mine. It's my best friend, Nailah's. But I fell in love with it once she sent me a photo of it. I was hesitant about the fit at first sight but once I put it on, the fit was incredible. The skirt accentuates the shape of my body so well. I think the patches stitched on gives it such a bad-ass look. I paired it with this amazing Element Cropped Graphic t shirt I found from WINNERS and I finally got to wear my Harley Davidson sneakers. 
I love these sneakers so much and absolutely love the combination of black and orange but I didn't quite have an outfit that fits with the colours. But this worked out perfectly. For accessories, I chose to go with the Primark mini backpack I was gifted by my parents from their trip to the US and some simple jewelry like my Daniel Wellington bracelet, some rings, and my black choker necklace.

I hope you like this new blog post format and it inspires you to incorporate skirts in your day to day outfits. Don't hesitate to comment with your honest opinion :)