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Canadian Living's home and garden director shows off her curves in a body con dress.
Photography by Carlyle Routh. Hair by Jukka/Davines/Plutino Group. Makeup by Jodi Urichuk/Bite Beauty/Plutino Group.
Have you ever flirted with the idea of trying a daring style but weren't quite sure how to pull it off? We found six women who were intrigued by a trend they usually avoid, then we gave them the support and style advice to help them make it their own. Here, Canadian Living's home and garden director, Sarah Gunn, steps out in a body con dress.
Much like Sarah's decor esthetic, sunny hues and pretty pastels are her wardrobe mainstays, along with ladylike fit-and-flare frocks. But there's one item of clothing Sarah has always admired on other women yet hasn't slipped into herself: a body-conscious dress. "I have curves—some in the right places and some not—and I'm not sure how to enhance the good ones and hide the bad ones in a formfitting style," says Sarah.
Karl Lagerfeld dress, $189, thebay.com. Earrings, bracelets, ring and shoes, bananarepublic.ca. Clutch, coach.com.
The first step to feeling confident in a body-hugging dress is a good foundation, a.k.a. undergarments. Sarah donned a Shapeez Tankee slip ($125, shapeez.com), an all-in-one bra, slip and shaper that helps eliminate visible bra lines and back bulges while slimming the waist and the stomach. When it comes to choosing a fitted dress, keep it sophisticated; we selected a style with elbow length sleeves and a high neckline, allowing Sarah's silhouette and her legs to be highlighted. Finally, the dress features black panels on the sides, which ever so slightly cinch the waist, helping to create the illusion of a more defined midriff.
Shop the trend:
Floral dress, $80, express.com
Zippered dress, $420, marc-cain.com
Scuba dress, $100, reitmans.com
Aspen dress, $129, bebe.com
Body con dress, $140, lechateau.com
Felicity & Coco dress, $137, nordstrom.com
Dex dress, $79, thebay.com
Dress, $210, armaniexchange.com
Franca sweater dress, $178, guess.ca
Body con dress, $50, dynamiteclothing.com
The Big Reveal: Canadian Living February 2017 Image by: Alvaro Goveia
Looking to refresh her life, insurance professional, wife and mother Marta Magyar-Gaal embraced a dramatic new look—with stunning results. "The whole experience felt like Pretty Woman. It's made me feel that I am important, worthy and capable of incorporating style into my life."
In the past few years, Marta Magyar-Gaal has faced several hardships. "I've gone through quite a bit of stress, in addition to a lot of physical changes," says Marta. A cancer survivor, she was recently diagnosed with vitilego (a skin disease characterized by a loss of pigment), which has made getting dresses extra challenging. "It mostly affects my arms and hands, so sleeves are a must," she says. In the thick of menopause, she's also experiences some hormonal weight gain and aggravation of her rosacea. With all of these new challenges, Marta was ready to embrace something positive: a brand-new look that matches her brilliant, funny and animated personality.
Roger Medina, a hair ambassador for Garnier Canada, loved Marta's curls but felt she needed to make a stronger style statement. In the end, the key to her look was a dyed 'do. Going blonde wasn't a drastic change for Marta, who already had partially lightened hair, so Medina felt that enhancing her natural curls would give her an edge. He lightened Marta's hair all over, with the exception of a bit of her roots to keep the colour low maintenance. For the photo shoot, Medina wanted to style Marta's hair differently than what's she's used to, so he gave her smooth waves. "I used a one-inch-barrel curling iron and divided the hair into two-inch sections," he says. "Then, I curled the hair around the face backward, and the hair at the back of the head toward the face, which gave her hair a bit of an S-shape."
A novice to makeup, Marta's major challenge is trying to even out her complexion, which is complicated by her rosacea and vitilego. She sometimes wears foundation, but she'll add mascara and lipstick only when she's feeling fancy. Keeping Marta's low-maintenance approach in mind, Plutino Group makeup artists Jodi Urichuk gave her soft, luminous and pretty makeup that highlighted several of her beautiful features. Urichuk started with a green-tinged primer to counteract the red in Marta's skin, then used a full-coverage satin-finish foundation. "It still looks natural," says Urichuk. Next, she applied a wash of taupe cream shadow to her eyelids and a metallic brown eyeliner, which she blended on an angle to give the appearance of larger eyes. To finish the look, Urichuk chose a soft-pink lip stain and a lip pencil in a similar hue, buffing and blending the lines with a brush.
Essie Nail Polish in Midnight Cami, $10, essie.ca. Caudalie Vinosource Overnight Recovery Oil, $59, caudalie.com. Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer Redness Correcting Primer, $45, sephora.ca. Garnier Fructis Moisture Lock 10-in-1 Rescue Leave-In Detangler, $7, shoppersdrugmart.ca.
When Marta visited the Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie Paris in Toronto, senior esthetician Alexandra Weisseneder noted that her sensitive and rosacea-prone complexion was in desperate need of hydration. Weisseneder recommended ingredients such as chamomile, grape water and jojoba oil to help calm and nourish her skin. She also advised Marta to use an overnight oil instead of a cream. "It's a bit more active and has more highly concentrated ingredients," says Weisseneder. Going forward, Marta will also use SPF coverage year-round to help protect her sensitive skin from the elements.
In Marta's youth, her style has edge, but as she matured, other priorities took precedence. "My style is pretty boring. I wear black on black on black and, sometimes, I add white," she says. Melissa Evans-Lee, the marketing director for Bayview Village shopping centre in Toronto, wanted to take Marta our of the darkness and into the light. She created an ensemble that was comfortable and stylish and had polished elements that Marta craves, while still steering her in a new direction. "Marta is petite, so it was important to choose a look that would elongate her small frame," says Evans-Lee. A luxurious cream-coloured turtleneck with flecks of sparkle proved the foundation; the tight-fitting high collar creates a longer visual line. Layering a fringed shawl over a sweater or coat is one of Evans-Lee's favourite winter styling tips. For Marta, she chose a windowpane-plaid cashmere shawl, adding a pair of ecru trousers to give the look some structure and a pair of suede booties to solidify the polished influence.
Shawl, $189, turtleneck, $189, and pants, $139, Talbots. Dean Davidson earrings, Cupido. Handbag, Sandro Ferrone. Booties, Stuart Weitzman. All clothing and accessories available at Bayview Village shopping centre in Toronto.
"I softened the corners of her nails because of the dark colour; I didn't want the manicure to look overly aggressive," says Essie Canada lead nail artist and global lead educator Rita Remark.
"I was living a girl's dream, having people teach me how to present my best self—not to mention the full attention given to me. It was quite overwhelming at time," says Marta. "The overall experience was amazing."
Looking to revamp your wardrobe? Now's the time to get shopping—everything's on sale!
We know the holiday season—and all the indulgence that goes with it—can take a serious hit on your bank account. But with the long stretch of sub-zero temperatures and blankets of snow ahead, it's nice to pick up a couple of new fashion items to keep you fresh. Our tip? The best bargains are surprisingly scored after the Boxing Day madness, so we went ahead and collected our top contenders to have you starting 2017 off right.
Wilfred Free skirt, $35 (from $85), aritzia.com.
L&L Relaxed Straight Denim, $24 (from $60), additionelle.com.
Wool blend coat, $80 (from $180), hm.com.
London Rebel mules, $56 (from $80), asos.com.
Suede shift dress, $15 (from $43), oldnavy.ca.
Velvet blazer, $50 (from $159), zara.com.
Marecchia boot, $50 (from $100), aldoshoes.com.
Sequin dress, $80 (from $180), eloquii.com.
Nude flounce top, $17 (from $25), forever21.com.
Utility cords, $40 (from $70), gapcanada.ca.
Plaid jacket, $129 (from $215), bananarepublic.ca.
Embroidered blouse, $30 (from $90), zara.com.
Classic flannel shirt, $9 (from $30), oldnavy.ca.
L&L Lace blouse, $16 (from $40), additionelle.com.
Minimum lace top, $52 (from $90), asos.com.
Fluffy coat, $90 (from $180), mango.com.
Textured stripe utility jacket, $60 (from $108), gapcanda.ca.
Wilfred dress, $85 (from $145), aritzia.com.
Faux leather knee-high boots, $37 (from $61), forever21.com.
Lace midi dress, $40 (from $90), zara.com.
Fluffy sweater, $30 (from $60), mango.com.
L&L Faux Shearling Coat, $84 (from $210), additionelle.com.
Merino wool sweater, $43 (from $85), bananarepublic.ca.