#Camo - Collab with Mavi Jeans

I decided to dedicate this blog post to some BTS gifs and how 99% of my shoots actually go. Scroll down for bloopers!

SOME GIF BLOOPERS

Review: Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lipsticks

Since discovering liquid lipsticks, I find myself no longer gravitating towards standard lipsticks like I used to. I've tried them all - from higher end brands such as Kat Von D, Stila, Anastasia and Tarte, to drug store brands such as NYX, L'Oreal, and Revlon. Lipsticks with a matte finish tend to dry out the lips, but Smashbox is among the few that won't make your lips look like you've been parched in a desert for a week.

WHY I LOVE IT

  • The tip applicator makes it easy (and fun) to line and apply the lipstick 
  • You only need one coat due to how pigmented and creamy the formula is 
  • It won't smudge, budge or feather when you're drinking or eating
  • It lasts up to eight hours 
  • When re-applying throughout the day, it doesn't make your lips look like a butthole
  • Offers a wide range of shades to choose from

Left to right: Bawse, Thrill Seeker, Baja Bound, Babe Alert, Driver's Seat, In Demand, Stepping Out, Chill Zone

CHILL ZONE - A deep, cool grey that's bound to send chills down your ex' spine

IN DEMAND - A neutral, pink nude that's great for the everyday pout

THRILL SEEKER - A bright red orange that's guaranteed to take attention off that unwanted pimple on the middle of your forehead

BABE ALERT - A nude rose that's giving MLBB (my-lips-but-better) a run for her money

BAWSE - A deep, cool red by YouTube megastar Lilly Singh (iisuperwomanii) that's sure to make you feel like a bawse

STEPPING OUT - A deep nude that pays homage to the 90s

BAJA BOUND - A pink coral that reminds me of Ariel the little mermaid

DRIVER'S SEAT - The result of Stepping Out's and Baja Bound's one night stand

#That70sShow

This photo set was actually taken on 3 separate occasions, which is why you'll notice the varying lipstick shades and the different hairstyles.

  • Day 1 Early Afternoon: Hair down, neutral lips - It was extremely cold and windy outside, so we decided to take pictures inside. 
  • Day 1 Evening: Hair up, neutral lips - To combat the wind, I opted for a ponytail instead and attempted some shots outside.
  • Day 2: Hair up, dark lipstick - I then realized I wanted to pair the outfit with a dark lippie, so figured third time was the charm.

I picked my favorites from each set and the results are what you see below!

#White - Collaboration with Call It Spring

Partnered with Call It Spring for a fresh spring look! Though it definitely doesn't feel like spring right now, and this outfit wasn't so fresh after the spilt matcha latte on my pants...#CanYouSpotTheMatcha. The sandals dressed themselves, so I kept the outfit simple and colors minimal!

#OliveJuice

I don't know how it works and it does have a semi-uncomfortable burning sensation, but ChinUp Mask rid 2 cm off my double chin after using it for 30 minutes. I also have a very ticklish neck, so it was hard to keep a straight face with the mask on, but IT WORKS.

#OnceYouGoBlack - Collaboration with Frank & Oak

I'm proud to partner with Frank & Oak for their new permanent women’s collection, which is now officially available online and in store! C-c-check out my entire look and all the new styles here: www.frankandoak.com/invite/TinaDao

Also for anyone that's never tried Shin Black ramen, guaranteed you won't go back once you've had a taste.

#Pink - Collaboration with Petite Studio NYC

Let's excuse my 10-day unwashed hair here and let's focus on this pink, velvet midi skirt from Petite Studio NYC. I keep caressing it because of how soft it is, and love how the knife pleats give it dimension. Only thing it's missing is pockets! 

#Monochromatic

My friend and I debuted our first single together called, "Joey, Your Poo Really Stinks" for our friend Joey's birthday 6 years ago. Here's a preview of the lyrics: It doesn't matter what you eat, Don't matter what you drink, Oh Joey, your poo really stinks, Your poo really stinks (x8). So if you're wondering why most of my Instagram captions are poo or fart related, it dates back long before I met them, and was only amplified with our friendship.

#LunarNewYear - Collaboration with Coach

I've been overplaying the La La Land soundtrack since I saw the movie a week ago, and I fall in love with it more each time. For those that haven't seen it, stop what you're doing and GO WATCH IT. It was so beautifully done - from the directing, the music and the costumes, to the actors and their chemistry on-screen. On an unrelated note, what I really love about Coach's new Dinky bag is the attached kisslock purse inside - perfect for all the red pocket money I'll be receiving this weekend for Lunar New Year!

#Suede - Collaboration with Petite Studio NYC

Being a petite gal (5'2"), I often struggle with finding clothes (especially jackets) that fit me. It's why my wardrobe consists of only a few brands, because once I find something that works I stick with it. When I discovered Petite Studio, I fell in love with their entire line. The quality pieces are made for, of, and by petite women, so they know exactly what works and what doesn't!

#Layers

Yes, I'm selling my Chanel bag. Yes, I just bought it 2 months ago in Florence. Yes, I still love it. Yes, it was an impulse buy (as with most of my purchases). Yes, it was an expensive impulse buy.

I've been eyeing the Chanel boy for years. When I set my eyes on this one in Italy, it was love at first sight. I loved the colour, the design, the soft Nubuck leather (at the time) and how much I was able to fit in the bag. However, I quickly came to realize that Nubuck leather is sensitive to pretty much everything. I find myself frequently ensuring the suede is all going in the same direction, and am afraid to wear the bag out in constant fear that I'll get something on it. The cost of the bag also has me wary of wearing it out, so in the end it's not worth the price I paid for it.

However, just because it wasn't a right fit for me currently, doesn't mean it won't be for you! Baby Chanel is looking for a new home, so if you're interested holla at me via @carousell (my username is simplyteee)!

Photos: Chris Leung (@iofmine)

Club Monaco Tommie Merino Sweater // Topshop Striped Shirt (Similar here, here and here) // Abercrombie High Rise Girlfriend Jeans (Similar and on sale at AE here) // Chanel Chevron Nubuck Boy Large Bag // Vince Easton Nubuck Bootie (thanks Marshalls Canada!)

All about the angles:

#2016Bye - 3 Confessions Behind the Gram

I started blogging last September, so 2016 was a year of many firsts. I've met so many local creatives I now call my friends, have partnered with many of my favourite brands, and been invited to exclusive events I've only dreamt of attending. Even though there are moments I feel like quitting and question why I'm doing what I'm doing, I ultimately love it and am excited for what 2017 has in store. Keep reading below for 3 confessions behind my Instagram shots!

Now onto the confessions...

1. It's all about perspective - Left is what I posted on Instagram and to the right is what it took to get the shot. Also how many of y'all have painted just your thumb to take a photo...(guilty)

2. What 99% of my pictures actually look like - I shot with Chris yesterday and we ended up with 1100 photos, of which only 20 were decent.

3. Most of my shots aren't actually pure white - Left is the original picture and to the right is after edits. If you missed it, you can check out part 1 and part 2 of how I edit my photos.

Cheers to keeping it real in 2017!

#Winter Things - Collaboration with Quartz Co

I've never owned a Quartz parka until now, but it's honestly the lightest parka I've tried. It's amazing how warm it is when I'm outside in -20 degree (Celsius) weather, but don't feel like I'm in a hot sauna wearing it indoors (like most parkas). As I'm always in the city, I want something that's durable but not too bulky. The fact that it's also made in Canada is a plus! I'm wearing the Laurentia in a Navy XXS, but am also in love with the following styles:

#Giveaway - Smashbox 12 Day Holiday Reveal

I'm excited to announce I've partnered with Smashbox Cosmetics Canada for an amazing holiday giveaway consisting of a multitude of their products! I'll be revealing the items over the next 12 days, so keep checking back to see what you could win!

To participate, simply:

  1. Follow me (@simplyteee) and @smashboxcanada

  2. Tag a friend on the giveaway announcement picture on my Instagram (you can tag as many as you like). For additional entries, comment on this post below and let me know what you're most looking forward to this holiday season!

Reveal Part 1: Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primers

Reveal Part 2: Smashbox Try It Kit Best Sellers

A collection of Smashbox' best sellers (valued at $64) including their Photo Finish Foundation Primer, Full Exposure Mascara, Photo Op Eye Shadow Trio in Filter, Always Sharp Waterproof Kohl Liner in Raven, and Be Legendary Lip Gloss in Disco Rose. All travel sized!

A collection of Smashbox' best sellers (valued at $64) including their Photo Finish Foundation Primer, Full Exposure Mascara, Photo Op Eye Shadow Trio in Filter, Always Sharp Waterproof Kohl Liner in Raven, and Be Legendary Lip Gloss in Disco Rose. All travel sized!

Reveal Part 3: Smashbox Always On Liquid Lipstick & Be Legendary Lipstick

Pictured:  Chill Zone  (obsessed, and seen on me  here ), and  Punked

Pictured: Chill Zone (obsessed, and seen on me here), and Punked

Reveal Part 4: Smashbox Step-by-Step Contour Stick Trio

Left to right: Contour, Bronze, and Highlight  I am completely obsessed with these  Contour Sticks ! They're incredibly creamy, which makes it easy to blend (so you don't end up looking like Cruella de Vil). I use Highlight for the inner corner of my eyes, nose and Cupid's bow,; and interchange between Bronze and Contour for the bridge of my nose.

Left to right: Contour, Bronze, and Highlight

I am completely obsessed with these Contour Sticks! They're incredibly creamy, which makes it easy to blend (so you don't end up looking like Cruella de Vil). I use Highlight for the inner corner of my eyes, nose and Cupid's bow,; and interchange between Bronze and Contour for the bridge of my nose.

Reveal Part 5: Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water

I love this  makeup primer spray  for more than just priming, but as a setting spray and whenever I need a skin refresher!

I love this makeup primer spray for more than just priming, but as a setting spray and whenever I need a skin refresher!

Reveal Part 6: Smashbox O-PLUMP Intuitive Lip Plumper With Goji Berry-C Complex

Plump up  those lips, while tinting them with your own unique shade of pink!

Plump up those lips, while tinting them with your own unique shade of pink!

Reveal Part 7: Smashbox Halo Highlighting Wand

A  liquid illuminator  in a click-through pen form.

A liquid illuminator in a click-through pen form.

Reveal Part 8: Smashbox Step-By-Step Contour Kit

A Light/Medium  contouring kit  that teaches you how to sculpt, shape, and define your features with three shades for defining, bronzing, and highlighting!

A Light/Medium contouring kit that teaches you how to sculpt, shape, and define your features with three shades for defining, bronzing, and highlighting!

Reveal Part 9: Smashbox L.A. Lights Blush & Highlight Palette

A  palette  with two tonal shades of blush and a matching highlighter.

A palette with two tonal shades of blush and a matching highlighter.

Reveal Part 10: Smashbox Photo Finish Lash Primer

A 10-in-one  mascara primer . 

A 10-in-one mascara primer

Reveal Part 11: Smashbox Indecent Exposure Mascara

The unique fibers in this  mascara  makes it easy to define every lash and coat it from root to tip. Use it with the lash primer in the above picture for an added  oompf.

The unique fibers in this mascara makes it easy to define every lash and coat it from root to tip. Use it with the lash primer in the above picture for an added oompf.

Reveal Part 12: Smashbox Always Sharp Waterproof Kôhl Liner

A  waterproof kohl eyeliner  with the precision of a liquid liner that self-sharpens every time you twist the cap off!

A waterproof kohl eyeliner with the precision of a liquid liner that self-sharpens every time you twist the cap off!

Winner of Smashbox Giveaway Is...

Smashbox Giveaway

@stottvanessa! Congratulations Vanessa, I'll be DMing you for more details! Thanks so much to everyone that participated! I continually appreciate all the comments and the support. Hope everyone has a great and safe holiday!

-- Giveaway now closed --

#Velvet - Collaboration with American Eagle Outfitters

American Eagle was actually the first brand to regram one of my outfits on Instagram when I was just starting out as a blogger. I couldn't contain my excitement and that was definitely one of the highlights of last year. My first job in high school also happened to be at American Eagle, so it's crazy how it's come full circle. You can view my feature on their blog here

AEO Velvet Tie Dress // Zara High Heel Leather Ankle Boots (Similar here, here, and here) // Urban Outfitters BDG Beanie (Similar here)

Photos: Andrew So

This post is sponsored by American Eagle Outfitters

#AEOSTYLE #AEOPartner

Top 5 Must-Do's in Florence & Sorrento

Having not travelled to Europe before, I didn't know what to expect. I was excited to take in the architecture, history, culture and amazing food. On the other hand, I was prepared for the worst with many people telling me to take heed of pickpocketing and theft. Our itinerary included Barcelona, Sorrento, Amalfi Coast, Pompeii, Florence and Geneva. As my heart was left in Italy, below are my top 5 things to see and do in two of my favourite cities.

Florence

1. Explore the city - I walked over 20,000 steps daily exploring Florence and felt I still had so much more to see. It's so easy to get lost; every wall, alley and building starts looking like the next, but I feel like that's the best way to truly know a city.

2. Eat your heart out - I had the best meals of my life in this city. Every single pasta dish, pizza slice and scoop of gelato I had was made with the freshest of ingredients. I normally am not a fan of coffee, cheese or wine (I know), but was in love with all three here. Yelp and I were closer than ever on this trip, and she never once let me down.

3. Go to Piazzale Michelangelo - A panoramic view of Florence, live music and arguably the best spot in town to watch the sunset. It's best to come about an hour before the sun goes down if you want to grab an open area on the stairs to enjoy the view.

4. Visit The Mall - If you're looking for deals on designer goodies, this luxury outlet 45 minutes outside of Florence is the place to be. It's the most beautiful outlet I've been to, and you can shop over 30 different brands. There's also a Gucci Caffè restaurant on the top floor of the Gucci store with an outdoor terrace offering incredible views of Tuscany.

5. Climb the Duomo - I recommend buying the all-in-one ticket (15 euros), which gives you access to see all 5 monuments in Piazza Duomo: Cupola, Bell Tower, Baptistery, the Crypt below Cathedral and Opera del Duomo Museum. Climbing to the top of the Bell Tower and the Duomo is about 900 steps altogether and is no easy feat! Being a 400 lb 95-year-old on the inside, I almost didn't make it. 

 

Sorrento 

1. Go to Raki for gelato - This place was recommended by a colleague, and it was by far one of the best gelati I had in Italy. It had the perfect texture and richness, and there's not an overabundance of flavours to choose from that you're standing there for 30 minutes trying to decide.

2. Take a day trip to Positano and Amalfi - I'll let the views speak for itself. If you decide to take a bus from Sorrento, the thrilling trip is about 30 minutes to an hour, and offers the most breathtaking views of the coastline. Warning: side effects may include nausea, dizziness and headaches due to the extreme twists and curves in the road.

...and I ran into another Toronto blogger (@cynthyeah) there I had only stalked on Instagram, and never actually met until walking past her down the Amalfi coast:

3. Visit the shops and walk along the coastline - Sorrento is a very small coastal town that you can walk from one end to the other in a mere couple hours.

4. Stay at this Airbnb solely for the balcony views - The place also has a great host, is located right in the heart of the city, and your room is cleaned every night as if you were staying in a hotel!

5. Take a day trip to Pompeii - I was so immersed in the history of this old Roman city and exploring the excavated ruins, that I didn't take a single photo of the vast archaeological site. To make it up, here are photos from Montserrat (an hour away from Barcelona):

That pretty much sums up my trip, give or take my phone being stolen in Barcelona, and me being appalled at two drinks at Starbucks costing $17 in Geneva. Would love to know what your favourite cities are in Europe!

#EasyBreezy

It was really windy during this photoshoot, and I wasn't wearing any pants under this 'dress' (which is supposed to fit like a regular tunic on taller folks). Luckily, there weren't that many people around to witness the multiple Marilyn Monroe moments that occurred. I'm also currently in Barcelona and haven't slept since 8 am yesterday, so goodnight!

DIY: Become Pablo Escobar In Under 15 Minutes (Halloween Costume)

Looking for a last minute costume this Halloween? Or simply looking to turn your colleague into Pablo Escobar for the day? Sharing a really quick DIY you can do in under 15 minutes!

What you'll need (shown below):

  1. A walkie-talkie (or in this case, a Bluetooth speaker that we will turn into a walkie talkie-ish)
  2. A belt
  3. Blue jeans
  4. A patterned polo/button-down 
  5. White runners

Optional:

  1. Stuffing (for the belly, unless you already have one then disregard) - Here we used cobweb
  2. Cutout of a stash (again, if you already have one then awesome)
  3. A straw to make the antenna of the walkie-talkie
  4. Black construction paper (to wrap the Bluetooth speaker with)
  5. Tape to adhere the black construction paper and straw to the Bluetooth speaker

Step 1: Make the walkie-talkie

Take black construction paper and wrap the Bluetooth speaker and straw with it. Then, adhere the straw to the back of the speaker. Voila, you have yourself a DIY'd walkie-talkie! We really tried to hide the tape.

Step 2: Look the part

Here are before and afters of my colleague Anjali who happily volunteered as tribute. 

  • Hair: Used a straightener to slightly crimp her hair to resemble Pablo's waves
  • Brows: Emphasized her brows with black eye shadow 
  • Face: Took the residual black eye shadow on the brush to age her face (accentuated laugh lines, forehead wrinkles and eye bags)
  • Stash: Cut one out on felt paper

Step 3: Act the part

And that's it! You have now become Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria. Guaranteed a double take on the streets.

#RAIN - Collaboration with Miss Pap

Figured it was appropriate to wear my first pair of over-the-knee suede boots when it was downright pouring out. (can you tell?)

Miss Pap Emily Grey Suede Over the Knee Boots // Topshop Dress shirt (Old) // Abercrombie Shorts (Old) 

#HotDogs - Collab with kareemaq

Hadn't eaten a hot dog in probably 5 years, until the day Kareema and I shot this look. Good was an understatement. I met Kareema while shopping at Aritzia a year ago, and I had just started my blog at the time. We had been planning this collaboration for a year now, and it finally happened! Follow this girl on Instagram and check out her amazing blog!