Curvy columnist Meredith Shaw has a few skinny-jean-tips to share.
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 curvy columnist Meredith Shaw shares her skinny jean tips.
(Read about our other style dares here: crop tops for the office, curve-hugging dresses, arm-baring tops, print mixing and feminine ruffles.)
You know that magical pair of jeans that makes you question, "How often is too often to wear them?" For many women, it's the skinny jean. Our curvy columnist Meredith's style profile (feminine with a rocker edge) lends itself to the slim shape, but she has a gripe about its name. "The word 'skinny' is in its description—and there's nothing skinny about me," says Meredith, adding that "judge-y jeans" would be a more precise moniker.
Cardigan, $60, hm.com/ca. Top, $30, winners.ca. Love & Legend jeans, $92, and shoes, additionelle.com. Hat, starburst choker, bracelet and ring, bananarepublica.ca. Earrings and gold-tone choker, jenny-bird.ca. Choker wrap, carolineneron.com.
Real talk: Despite the style's questionable name, women of any size—and age—can rock these curve-hugging pants. But keep a few things in mind. First, fit and construction are key. "When you have curves, you need extra stretch," says Meredith. The optimal level of spandex (or lycra) is between one and four percent; any higher and you risk losing the denim shape. Mid-rise jeans are universally flattering. Look for ones that sit right at (or slightly below) your belly button. No matter your size, these fitted bottoms shouldn't pinch, bunch or create lumps—or a muffin top.
Shop the trend:
Rockstar mid-rise jeans (sizes 0 to 20), $45, oldnavy.ca
Nadia Aboulhoson for Love & Legend jeggings (sizes 14 to 24), $92, additionelle.com
High stretch skinny jean (sizes 00 to 20), $100, gapcanada.ca
Slim fit jean (sizes xxs to xl), $59, veramoda.ca
Skinny jean (sizes 24 to 38), $55, reitmans.com
Skinny jean (sizes 24 to 34), $99, luckybrand.com
Calvin Klein skinny jean (sizes 25 to 32), $125, thebay.ca
Super skinny jegging (sizes 2 to 16), $35, hm.com/ca
Levi's mid-rise skinny jean (sizes 10 to 16), $75, sears.ca
Dark wash skinny jean (sizes 25 to 32), $80, rw-co.com
Cherry Chocolate Chunk Brownies<br>Photography by Jeff Coulson Image by: Cherry Chocolate Chunk Brownies<br>Photography by Jeff Coulson
Bars and squares make a fun addition to any cookie exchange.
A thick layer of creamy mint icing is sandwiched between a crumbly chocolate cookie base and smooth dark chocolate ganache in these irresistible squares.
Get the recipe: Mint Chocolate Squares
The decadent flavour of butter tarts in the form of easy-to-make squares.
Get the recipe: Butter Tart Squares
The pride of Nanaimo, B.C., these bars have a crumb base layered with a creamy custard filling and a chocolaty topping. Best served at room temperature, the bars keep well refrigerated or frozen.
Get the recipe: Classic Nanaimo Bars
Enjoy these Australian squares just as they are, or dip them in a mug of hot cocoa for the ultimate treat. While they're traditionally made with sponge cake, our version uses easy-to-make chocolate pound cake instead, making them a sinfully indulgent dessert for chocolate lovers. To retain their moistness, store the squares in the fridge.
Get the recipe: Double Chocolate Lamington Squares
Sweet-tart cranberries are cooked with a hint of orange to make an easy jam-like filling, then sandwiched between layers of crisp almond pastry. Freshly ground almonds are crunchier than the storebought ground variety, so whirl whole nuts in a food processor for the ultimate nutty crust.
Get the recipe: Cranberry Almond Squares
The inside-out version of this classic square offers a classy white chocolate top with a rich dark chocolate centre. Use a vegetable peeler to make the chocolate shavings.
Get the recipe: Reverse Nanaimo Bars
These layered bars are like three desserts in one! Using a candy thermometer ensures you have the right consistency of caramel (not too soft and not too hard).
Get the recipe: Gooey Peanut Butter Squares
If simplicity is your style, look no further than these six-ingredient squares, made with ingredients you'll likely already have on hand. If you prefer, use seedless raspberry jam instead of strawberry.
Get the recipe: Crumble-Topped Jam Squares
A smooth and silky no-bake filling comes together in a matter of minutes for this easy crowd-pleasing treat. Be sure to top the squares with peanuts quickly, before the chocolate sets.
Get the recipe: Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cheesecake Squares
Each layer of these bars is a delicious treat on its own; together, they become the star of any goodie tray. To make them gluten-free, be sure to use oat flour that's labelled as such. If you choose not to use pasteurized egg whites, whisk a fresh egg white until frothy and measure out one tablespoon.
Get the recipe: Sugared Pecan Fudge Squares
Vanilla wafer cookies, raspberry filling and white chocolate lighten up the traditional colour – and flavour – of the classic Nanaimo bar.
Get the recipe: Pink Berry Nanaimo Bars
Classic pecan pie gets a bite-size makeover with these crunchy pecan-packed squares. Toothsome shortbread is the perfect base, adding a delightful contrast. Chill the squares before cutting for a smooth, easy slice.
Get the recipe: Honey Pecan Pie Squares
Trust us, these easy-to-make squares will be the hit of your holiday parties and family gatherings. Wrap them in cute little boxes and hand them out as hostess gifts at all of your festive get-togethers.
Get the recipe: Chocolate Toffee Hello Dollies
Sweet glac? cherries and vivid pink icing give these sumptuous brownies a nostalgic retro look. Make them a couple of days ahead, then spread on the fruity icing just before serving.
Get the recipe: Cherry Chocolate Chunk Brownies
Sweet butterscotch squares hide a layer of crystallized ginger and velvety milk chocolate. These are pretty when packaged as gifts and are the perfect holiday treat to add to a bake sale.
Get the recipe: Ginger Butterscotch Squares
The actress and activist chats with us from the Cannes Film Festival about beauty and aging.
Perhaps you were first introduced to Susan Sarandon as scene-stealing Janet in The Rocky Horror Picture Show or as half of one of the greatest on-screen female duos ever in Thelma & Louise. Or maybe you're most familiar with Sarandon's activism around issues of climate change, the death penalty and economic inequality. Whatever the reason you took notice, the megastar and brand ambassador for L'Oréal Paris is fascinating. She spoke with us about life as an actor, her beauty routine and how to age gracefully.
What are your favourite roles to take on?
I like to play characters who are reaching out in some way to another human—it's the bravest thing you can go. I'm interested in those stories, whether it's the relationship between a nun and a convict, a love story between two women or the connection between a woman and a child. I try to not repeat myself. Even if I've played other mothers, they're all different.
L'Oreal Age Perfect
How is the perception of women over the age of 50 changing?
Being 50, 60 or 70 doesn't mean the same thing as it did when I was 20. There are a lot of great gals who are working, who are fun, sassy and beautiful, and who happen to be over 60. They're great-looking and full of energy, and they're living longer—and there's a lot of us!
What made you want to work with L'Oréal Paris?
I love the ethnic and age diversity that L'Oréal has shown in its choice of brand ambassadors. And the idea—do it for yourself because you're worth it—was a huge breakthrough. I really respect that kind of thinking.
What beauty routine do you follow?
I don't smoke cigarettes, I drink lots of water, I exercise. Everything else, I do moderately. I don't really drink, I try to always take my makeup off at night and I use moisturizer, sunscreen and a little dab of lip balm. That's about it.
As you've gotten older, how have your views on beauty and aging changed?
I think you have to spend your time on, and worry about, more important things. Gravity exists; there's no way around it. As you get older, you have to look at aging differently because comparisons and criticisms are suddenly thrown in your face. There are a lot of people who are aging quire gracefully; I think it's about putting the emphasis on what's inside.
Over 50 and fabulous? Our guide to aging gracefully helps you choose the skincare, hair and makeup products that are right for you.
These small surprises will make the people on your list smile—no matter their personality—and won’t break your budget.
Enamel pins, $8 each, pennypaperco.com.
Snowball maker, $4, ebay.ca.
Terra Delyssa Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil Infused With Garlic, $5, terradelyssa.com.
Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick Duos, $17 each, sephora.ca.
Nadège Thé Vert Grand Cru Chocolate, $10, nadege-patisserie.com.
Happy Holidays Squish Mix gummy candies, $8, squishcandies.com.
Philosophy Hands of Hope Ornament, $14, sephora.ca.