Our editors share the items they are coveting this February—and they're all under $100.
As much as we love shopping, what we love even more is a good deal. Which is why we asked our style editors to share the items that they'll be shopping for this month. The good news? Everything is under $100, which means you don't have to feel guilty about picking a few things up yourself.
As I think about spring, I always begin to think about what sneakers I’m going to pick up. Spring is sneaker season, at least if you ask me. This year, I’m going back to basics with a classic pair of Vans. Bonus—they’ve been spotted on bloggers, models and off-duty actors, so you know this style is making a comeback. At the very affordable $80 price point, this will be money well-spent seeing as how I'll be living in them for the season. - Alexandra Donaldson, contributing editor
Graphic pants are everything at the moment. Dress them down with sneakers, add heels for a more professional look, pair it with a form-fitting top to keep it sleek. They'll go with everything. - Noelle Gauthier, style intern
Uniqlo women smart style ankle length pants, $40, uniqlo.com.
Easy to apply eyeshadow
If I’m wearing makeup beyond my under-eye concealer and mascara, it needs to be efficient. Which is why I have my eye on this Nudestix eye crayon. The metallic hue will add a bit of pizzazz to my makeup look, without too much extra effort.
Nudestix Magnetic Eye Colour in Twilight, $28, sephora.com.
How come boyfriend jeans always seem amazing in theory, but never translate into the model-off-duty look when worn? These "girlfriend" jeans have a tailored fit making them far more wearable.
Animal motifs have been hot on the runway—but if you can’t afford to spring for Gucci (and really, who can?) you can pick up this panther cropped sweatshirt from Forever 21. At $25 it’s a steal—and super cute to boot.
A few years ago I never could have imagined loving the kitten heel like I do now—but these days everything is old new again. The low-heel allows me to survive in them all day, so I'm thinking they'll be sticking around for awhile.
Say what you want about the Kardashians, but they have the perfectly tousled California-girl waves I'm after. Enter this new haircare line by their trusted hairstylist, Jen Atkin. I'm eyeing this texturizing spray to recreate their manes.
Eyeliner used to be applied to enhance a look, but for 2016, it is the look. Subtle or dramatic and thin or thick, liner looks come in every variation you can imagine. We asked makeup artist Grace Lee for her best eyeliner tips and techniques—and how to find your perfect formula.
"I love how eyeliner can transform a person's eye," says Grace Lee, lead makeup artist for Maybelline New York Canada. "You can easily make eyes look bigger, exaggerated or elongated." Having a sense of your eyeshape and picking the best formula for you are the starting points of a freat eyeliner look. here are Lee's suggestions.
YOUR EYE SHAPE
Since you already have a flattering shape (lucky you!) use eyeliner to “follow the shape of your eye,” says Lee. If you want to make your eyes look larger, draw the eyeliner thicker at the centre of your eye, giving the illusion of roundness.
Too much eyeliner on deep-set or hooded eyes is a waste—it will disappear whenever you open your lids. Instead, says Lee, “keep the eyeliner as close to the lash line as possible.” This will create the illusion of full, dark lashes while still looking quite natural.
Think of Zooey Deschanel, Katy Perry and Christina Ricci, whose round eyes all benefit from a flick of liquid liner. You can elongate your look by using liner to extend it outward in a cat-eye shape. When doing a cat eye, start with the flick at the outer corner, then work your way in, along the lash line.
YOUR TOOL KIT
“Keep your eyeliner pencil sharpened and clean for precise application,” says Lee. The good news? Pencil liner is the easiest to master, and it’s great for an everyday look. Left, High:Make Up For Ever Aqua XL Eye Pencil in Matte Black M-10, $25, sephora.ca. Right, Low:Maybelline New York Master Skinny Eyeliner in Refined Charcoal, $12, maybelline.ca.
When it comes to liquid liner, only one thing will ensure perfect application: practice. Try applying strokes to the back of your hand before tackling your eyelid, suggests Lee. Use liquid liner for retro cat-eye looks. Left, High: Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof Eyeliner Pen in Noir Intense, $35, thebay.com. Right, Low: Essence Easy 2 Use Jumbo Eyeliner, $4, shoppersdrugmart.ca.
“Use smaller strokes to connect your liner into one long, precise line,” says Lee. It’s easier than trying to get a perfect line in one swipe. Use gel liner to build dimension and to achieve thicker, more graphic looks. Left, High: Urban Decay Super Saturated Ultra Intense Waterproof Cream Eyeliner in Perversion, $26, urbandecay.ca. Right, Low:L’Oreal Paris Infallible Lacquer Liner 24H in Blackest Black, $13, lorealparis.ca
Draw some attention to your look with bright line flicks. With colour, “sometimes, it’s more about taking it down a notch than amping it up,” says Lee. “Start with a thin layer, then build a more intense hue as needed.” Try blue or green eyeliner this spring for a fresh pop of colour. Left, High: M.A.C. Cosmetics Modern Twist Kajal Liner in New Marine, $19.50, maccosmetics.ca Right, Low: Hard Candy Take Me Out Liner in Yolo, $5, walmart.ca
In honour of Black History Month, we spoke with Governor General's Award-winning historian and author Karolyn Smardz Frost about fugitive slave Cecelia Reynolds, and her journey to Canada through the Underground Railroad.
Karolyn Smardz Frost: The largest fugitive slave settlements are in what is now called Ontario. There was a very active community here — more people came and went in Toronto that records won't show. They were active in trying to end slavery and helping people get to Canada and then help them once they came. The community really stepped up.
I had a friend send me a photograph during the excavation process. I could see the foundation which was a whole city block [behind Toronto's City Hall] and knowing the history and heritage of that spot, I said, "that is the most important multicultural site to dig in Toronto!"
CL: When did you know that you wanted to tell the story of Cecelia's life?
KSF: I knew right away. I [came across] these five "friendly" letters…the only documents between a fugitive slave and her former mistress that spanned several years. And clearly Cecelia was writing to Fanny and she was answering. I believe this correspondence continued for 20 years. Fanny's son says there were more letters after his mother died but he didn't get them.
CL: Was Cecelia able to read and write?
KSF: She could read before she left Kentucky — it was one of the few places where it wasn't illegal to teach a slave to read and write. People often taught their slaves to read but not to write. Cecelia learned how to write in Toronto at night classes in the church basement, and there were eventually night-school classes through the Toronto School board.
CL: What did the two women talk about in their letters?
KSF: There was lots of family news because Fanny's father purchased Cecelia's mother.
CL: This is a complex relationship. What have you learned about them?
KSF: Fanny, the mistress and woman who became Cecelia's owner, was four-and-a-half years older than Cecelia and they had grown up together in the house since she was a baby. But it's certainly not an equal relationship.
CL: Was the purpose of the letters and correspondence to get her family back (which didn't happen) or did she want to keep in touch?
KSF: Ceceilia wanted to buy back her mother. Underneath all the affection and religious tone of the letters was the message that we're not selling your mom to you until we get the money. That is all the way through. No matter how affectionate those letters are, the cold hand of slavery is underneath all of it.
CL: What were Fanny's feelings towards slavery?
KSF: A letter around 1855 (six years before the civil war), Fanny wrote to Ceceilia, telling her that she thought slavery was a sin against God and that this evil in society can't continue. She also told her that if she came back to Kentucky, she would never enslave her again and understands why she needs to be free. Fanny kept a scrapbook with clippings of speeches by abolitionists in the Boston papers. She was a gently bred southern belle (she comes from two of the most important families in the southern United States — her mother's family are the Churchills from Churchill Downs, the site of the Kentucky Derby, and her other half is William Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition) but she also had a spine of steel. She married the man she wanted (who developed a drinking habit), and she managed money.
CL: Why has researching and writing about Canada's Underground Railroad been such important work for you?
KSF: I started out as an archaeologist, and I wanted to make it socially relevant. My father was a Polish National Holocaust survivor who escaped a concentration camp, my mother taught special education at an inner-city school in Toronto, and my grandmother was one of the people in Toronto who objected to the internment of the Japanese in WW2. So, I grew up in a household where social justice was just what you did. I wanted to bring meaning to history. When I first found the Blackburn site in 1985, that changed my life, and I wrote my previous book about that.
CL: How is writing a book as a historian different?
KSF: Historical nonfiction is a difficult genre to write because you're telling a story but you must be sure that every bit of that story is as true as you can make it. So, you're constrained in a way that other writers are not. It takes a long time to write like this.
CL: It's Black History Month, why do you think this story is so relevant?
KSF: At a time when people are thinking more about African-Canadian history than they might at other times, it brings it to public attention. There's an argument that we should certainly be doing this all year long and not just during this month. Cecelia's story is phenomenal — she chose freedom over slavery, and risked everything to achieve it at the age of 15. And, she organized this with help of Underground Railroad operators in advance of leaving for Niagara when there was no Internet, just letters and word of mouth. To go to another country knowing no one — I think that's remarkable.
CL: What lessons can we learn today from this history?
KSF: Resistance. Stand up and be counted. Choose freedom. I think of Cecelia as a woman who valued freedom above all else. She always chose freedom.
Dainty and flavourful, everyone loves to indulge in tiny bites of traditional tea sandwiches. Though they appear finicky to make, these tea sandwiches are easy to assemble and entirely make-ahead.
Pinwheel Sandwiches Trim crusts from 5 slices white or whole wheat sandwich loaf, cut Pullman-style. (Ask bakery to cut sandwich loaf horizontally, or Pullman style.) Using rolling pin, flatten slices slightly. Spread with 1/3 cup (75 mL) butter, softened; spread with filling.
Place 1 asparagus spear (or 2 baby gherkins) along 1 short end of each. Starting at asparagus, roll up tightly without squeezing. Wrap each roll tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour. With serrated knife, trim ends; cut each roll into 6 slices.
Makes 30 pieces. Pinwheel Sandwich recipe: Curried Egg Salad Triangle Sandwiches Spread 16 thin slices whole wheat or white sandwich bread with 1/3 cup (75 mL) butter, softened; spread filling evenly over 8 of the slices. Top with remaining slices, pressing lightly. Place on rimmed baking sheet and cover with damp tea towel; cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Trim off crusts. Cut each sandwich into 4 pieces.
Makes 32 pieces. Triangle Sandwich recipe: Ham Pickle Spread Square Sandwiches Make sandwiches as in Triangle Sandwiches above except use 8 thin slices white and 8 thin slices whole wheat sandwich bread. Cut each sandwich into quarters.
Makes 32 pieces.Square Sandwich recipe: Pimiento Cheese Spread Finger Sandwiches Make sandwiches as in Triangle Sandwiches above. Cut each sandwich lengthwise into 4 fingers.
Makes 32 pieces. Finger Sandwich recipe: Tuna Olive Salad
Choose the best-quality bread. Never serve end slices. Freezing bread before cutting and then spreading makes for easier handling.
Bread should be lightly buttered no matter what the filling. Butter should be at room temperature before spreading. Sandwiches will not become limp and soggy as readily if you spread butter right to edge of bread.
Cut crusts off bread with long, sharp knife after (not before) assembling sandwiches. This keeps everything neater.
Since tea sandwiches should be delicate, cut each sandwich into thirds or quarters or in half diagonally. Or use cookie cutters to cut into decorative shapes.