Summer essentials

The long weekend is almost here! Any fun plans to celebrate Canada Day (July 1) or Independence Day (July 4)? In the past, my Canadian friends and I here in Seattle would celebrate both (never a better excuse to have back-to-back BBQs or potlucks!), but this year it looks like Canada Day crept up on us and we forgot to plan something. Plus, July 1st lands on a work day, so… to the office it is!

As for the July 4th weekend, this would be the perfect time of year for a quick roadtrip! Today, I’m rounding up a set of Summer essentials to take along on the road in case you’re heading out of town this weekend:

Summer Essentials

Reading Materials: I’ve been listening to the #GIRLBOSS podcast and falling more and more in love with Sophia Amoruso on the weekly. She’s featured in this month’s issue of Forbes that highlights the richest self-made women, which I loved reading and learning more about her story from. I won’t divulge any secrets, but it was so fascinating to see big names like Beyonce and Taylor Swift ranked against all other self-made women in America vs the global market of influential women.

Aside from Forbes, I’ve got Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking on my current reading list. I started this book earlier this month when on a weekend trip to the countryside. It’s written by Malcolm Gladwell, who is best known for his bestseller Outliers: The Story of Success. I guess you can see the trend in my current reading materials, hah! ;) Either way, a good book is never a bad thing when on the road.

Face & Body wipes: When on the road, you never know when you’re going to find a bathroom or shower station next! It’s always handy to pack along some fresh wipes, and these Acure Organics coconut and argan oil wipes are my favourite. Not only are they organic, but they’re also 100% biodegradable! These babies triple as makeup removing wipes as well, so no need to pack multiple sets of towelettes!

Deodorant: I recently found Schmidt’s Bergamot & Lime natural deodorant in Whole Foods and absolutely fell in love. As someone who switched from antiperspirants to deodorant a few years back, I’ve been trying to find an all-natural deodorant that didn’t smell like baby powder or feel like dry soap rubbing against my skin. This one smells like a delicious candle has essential oils that help with disinfecting and skin healing.

Sun block: A few months ago, I was introduced to Block Island Organics face moisturizer with SPF 30. While I found the formula to be a bit on the thicker side for everyday use under makeup, I loved the moisturizer as a sun block. Keeping in line with the all-natural theme for my beauty routine, Block Island Organics covers all the bases: all natural and organic ingredients, scent-free, and moisturizing (shea butter and aloe)! The consistency is comparable to other non-organic products available in stores today, but bonus because there are no parabens, sulfates, dyes, or added fragrance. They’re currently offering 20% off sitewide with coupon code HAPPY4TH.

Bug spray: This is a must-have for me! As someone who is prone to being eaten alive by mosquitoes, I always have to have bug spray handy whenever on the road. This Badger Anti-Bug Shake and Spray is a dream. In the past, I’ve tried to avoid using Deet or OFF because of the awful smell and “bitterness” by only lighting Citronella candles, only to be bitten on random places like my forehead! Badger Anti-Bug is 100% natural and smells like nothing more than the Citronella candles (which I love the smell of… I know it’s not for everyone) and rosemary. Yum!

Coconut water: Always have to stay hydrated! The pineapple Zico coconut water is my current favourite. It’s refreshing and ever so slightly hinted with sweetness and pineapple goodness. I haven’t yet tried all the other new Zico flavours but am excited to explore my options if I ever get tired of this yummy pineapple one!

What are your Summer essentials?

Wedding guest outfit idea: Mixed metals

Happy middle of the week, everyone! I’m excited to share today’s post, as it’s the second installment to the 3-part series of wedding guest outfit ideas on transforming a single dress for distinct looks through the use of jewelry.

Today’s look features one trend that has been making the options for mixing and matching jewelry of all sorts of metal composition possible– Mixed metal jewelry! To complete this look, a pair of rose gold and sterling silver earrings and a sterling silver necklace from Blue Nile were selected.

Wedding guest outfit ideas with mixed metal jewelry via the demure muse

Keeping in theme with budget-friendly wedding outfit ideas, this is the same dress from the first outfit idea (a romantic, vintage-inspired styling can be seen here!) and each of the jewelry pieces in this look come in at $75 or under!

wedding guest outfit idea: flowy red maxi dress
outfit details:
red maxi dress: Lulu’s
nude heels: Franco Sarto
long leaf necklace: Blue Nile (exact)
geometric dangle earrings: Blue Nile (exact)

What made the styling of these gorgeous geometric dangle earrings a challenge was figuring out a way to keep the hair and makeup simple and clean so that the jewelry could be the focus. I tucked my hair back in a reverse bun, and wore a bold red lip to stand up against the statement of these earrings. To make things even more interesting, I added a pair of bold gold-tone sunglasses to accentuate the rose gold and silver in the earrings and the necklace. Such a fun mix!

Blue Nile geometric dangle earrings and long leaf necklace
wedding guest jewelry mixed metal look

These dangle earrings are the perfect piece for framing the face, as they hang just shy of 2″ for a statement that could be made to match any coloured dress. The leaf necklace, while designed with more intricate details of the hammered edge, paired well with the geometric composition of the earrings. The opera-length of the leaf necklace helped to bring distance without competing too closely with the earrings for a complimentary accent to the high neckline of this dress.

Wedding guest dress: lulu's red maxi backless dress

Compared to the first styling of this dress for wedding guest outfit ideas, this bold look with mixed metal jewelry is such a different take. The accessories definitely shifts the focus from the red to the mixed metal jewelry, making this dress and easy piece to re-wear to another event!

Can’t wait to show you the last styling of this dress in next week’s post!

Disclosure: This post was made in partnership with Blue Nile. All of the jewelry in this post was borrowed for styling. I cannot thank you enough for supporting the companies who help to make this blog possible!

HAIR TUTORIAL: Perfect beach waves

With beach days being a few weeks out here in Seattle (gosh, it just poured rain yesterday), why not bring the beach waves early? I’m excited to share this easy beach waves hair tutorial, whose look can be achieved using a hair curler and a few key prep and finishing products.

I specifically chose to use and highlight ABBA products for this post to align with my goal of trying to replace my existing beauty and haircare products with all natural* and/or parabens-free products. ABBA specializes in being 100% vegan, gluten-free and made without parabens, phathalates, synthetic colour additives, sulfates, and sodium chlorides.

hair tutorial: how to make the perfect beach waves via
Step 1: I started with freshly washed hair, sprayed with the ABBA Curl Prep Spray before hair drying. In his photo, the left side of the hair part has been curled with the perfect beach waves, and on the right is what my hair looked like after being dried but before being curled.

Step 2: To further encourage the curls, do a light spritz of the ABBA Prep Spray again on the dried hair, combing through from root to tip, before curling.

Step 3: Using a Cricket Ultra Smooth professional curling iron, wrap about a 2″ section of hair around the barrel, starting about 6″ from the root. Clip and hold the hair for about 10 seconds before releasing.

Step 4: As each layer of curls are finished, mist the ABBA Curl Finish Spray to help hold the shape of the curls.

The next two steps are optional, but definitely helpful for high-humidity cities like Seattle. I’ve had my curls completely frizz out in the past from humidity and it sucked! After putting time into doing my hair, the last thing I wanted was for a warm day to ruin the ‘do! Here’s a couple extra steps to help battle the humidity and keep those curls going strong for longer.


Welcoming Summer: It’s wedding season!

It’s officially the first day of Summer, which means Wedding Season is about to kick off in full swing! 2016 seems to be the year of weddings because I just watched 5 different stories of wedding Snaps over the weekend, and I have 3 to attend myself between now and the Fall!

With all these weddings to go to, I’m trying my darn best to not break the bank and buy a new dress for each one. I’m partnering with Blue Nile this month to show how to wear a single dress 3 different ways, transformed by a selection of unique jewelry pieces at a budget price point of $150 and under.

This first look is probably my favourite of the trio because of how easy to was to put together. Using a vintage-inspired pair of teardrop pearl earrings as the focal point, this simple silhouetted red maxi dress was easily worked into a vintage, romantic look:

wedding guest outfit ideas: styled with vintage-inspired jewelry from Blue Nile
wedding guest outfit ideas: red maxi dress styled with vintage-inspired jewelry
outfit details:
grey moonstone & topaz ring: Blue Nile (exact)
vintage-inspired pearl earrings: Blue Nile (exact)
red maxi dress: Lulu’s
wedges: Shoe Dazzle

wedding guest outfit accessories for a vintage, romantic style // the demure muse
When I first saw these earrings, I immediately thought of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It was an easy choice for hair style, being able to frame these earrings as being the focal point of this wedding guest outfit. Breezy waves in the hair paired with soft, dewy, shimmer and highlights on the cheeks, a nude lip, and nothing but a quick swipe of mascara across the top lashes helped to complete this look.

blue nile teardrop pearl and topaz earrings
I can’t wait to show you how this same dress gets transformed two more times for different looks from this vintage, romantic one!

Disclosure: This post was made in partnership with Blue Nile. All of the jewelry was borrowed for styling. I cannot thank you enough for supporting the companies who help to make this blog possible!

REVIEW: Scarology Scar Removal Kit

Scarology scar removal kit review

We’ve all been there before– having one of those moments while curling or straightening hair and accidentally burning ourselves with a hot tool, am I right? A few months ago, I accidentally burned my middle finger with the flat iron and was super bummed because this is the first time a burn has been severe enough to scar. The opportunity to try out Scarology could not have come at a better time and I’m excited to share today’s post because it’s one that’s been in the making for weeks.

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