STYLE | Blue Wall Blue Coat Red Bag

STYLE | Blue Wall Blue Coat Red Bag

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Blue Wall Blue Coat Red Bag

Whenever it’s subzero out is when I wear a cute outfit. It’s just the way it always happens. Of course taking photographs becomes a challenge and yet I continue to stay in this line of work. After 9 years of this, I still find it challenging and exciting to find new backdrops, shoot in different ways, and style outfits. Those are the parts about this job that I love so much. The paper trail and irregular pay cheques are the biggest con, in my opinion. Job satisfaction aside, on this chilly day as we drove downtown and passed this building, I knew it was the right backdrop for my vintage London Fog coat. So we stopped and spent a total of 15 minutes before our fingers turned the colour red of my bag. Et voila! This editorial was born. Blue wall blue coat red bag was meant to be!

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ACCESSORIZE

The accessories are my favourite part of this look. The hat is a vintage find I picked up years ago on a whim – see how I styled it with pink hair. The red double canteen bag, my second pop of colour if you will, is from Canadian designer Sneha Varma. It is fast becoming my go-to bag for trips because of its versatility in styling (casual or dressed up) and it’s compactness. Plus, a strap long enough to be crossbody is always a plus when traveling. I topped that off with my all-time favourite red matte lipstick Thrill Seeker by Smashbox.

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Blue Wall Blue Coat Red Bag // OUTFIT DETAILS

hat – vintage
red matte lipstick – Thrill Seeker Smashbox c/o
top – H&M c/o
London Fog coat – vintage
denim – Frank & Oak c/o
bag – double canteen by Sneha Varma c/o
shoes – VANS sk8-hi c/o

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photographs – Jesse Sand

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STYLE | Sparkle and Shine

STYLE | Sparkle and Shine

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Sparkle and Shine

I know, I know, we’re already two weeks into this month and I’m living life looking in the rear view. My outfit on New Year’s Eve was just too spectacular to not document on the blog as well. I even chose a sweet Econoline Crush song as the title! Who used to listen to Sparkle and Shine repeatedly? In any case, when it comes to NYE, wearing a lot of sparkle is my duty. I resurrected this vintage frock from the depths of my closet to sparkle and shine one more time. The last time I wore it was my sister’s second Halloween wedding in Vegas. She was married by Elvis. It was magic. A couple years have passed so I thought it was appropriate to give it a second life.

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OUTFIT

vintage dress
Claira boots ALDO c/o

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Are You Ready Boots? Start Walking!

Despite the weather being -40 here in Edmonton, I made a commitment to my sparkle and shine dress code agenda and wore this. I threw on some sparkle tights and away I went into the night. Bonus points for my outfit matching the frost on every surface of every thing outside. I can confirm that the Aldo Claira boots are easy to wear for extended periods of time however they are not that effective in the grip department. If worn, I advise either having the arm of a dreamy suitor or non-icy conditions. They look super dope scrunched down a la 80s dream girl or pulled up for more of a Grace Jones vibe. Either way, I’m planning on wearing these grocery shopping with a vintage fur coat in the near future.

photographs – Jesse Sand

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STYLE | The Not Leather Moto

STYLE | The Not Leather Moto

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The Not Leather Moto

Sometimes when I order clothes, I never really know what to *expect* – read: things are not always as they appear. The not leather moto was the happy exception to this. I was aware that it isn’t leather but I had no idea it was made of a thick-ish foam material. In retrospect, the name “scuba moto” should have been a dead giveaway. Like they say, hindsight is 20/20. However, it’s warm enough to wear in the winter, an unexpected but delightful feature. Here’s how I styled the not leather moto:

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MIXING PINK WITH RED

If there is one thing The Pretty Secrets is about, it’s not following so called sartorial “rules.” If there are any fashion don’ts out there, rest assured I’ll be doing them. ALL of them, including wearing pink and red together on every other day than Valentine’s Day. Maybe even Valentine’s too. As I’ve mentioned before, when I have pink hair, I don’t limit myself to a specific appropriate colour palette. If you’re curious about that, check my post about What to Wear When You Have Pink Hair. This version of my pink hair was done by the talented hair magician Patricia at The Weekly.

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QUIRKY ACCESSORIES

The jacket is a statement piece, no argument there but it doesn’t have to be the solo focus. One way to balance the outfit out is to add a few tastefully quirky additions. A zany sock, a pastel suede pair of vans, or even a giant hat. Remember: a casual look doesn’t have to be boring.

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JEAN GENIE

I have expounded countless times on the importance of a comfortable pair of denim. Say hello to my mom jeans from Frank & Oak. They are tight in the right spots but also have enough room in them to allot for a pair of long johns. I live in Canada after all; layering is important.

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OUTFIT DETAILS

Hat – c/o Bailey of Hollywood
Hair dye – c/o Clairol Color Crave in Flamingo
Sunglasses – Ray-Ban
Top – c/o Frank & Oak
Socks – c/o Happy Socks (similar here)
Shoes – c/o VANS Sk8-Hi
Moto Jacket – c/o Guess Casper Scuba Moto
Denim – c/o Frank & Oak Stevie Jeans

photographs – Jesse Sand

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STYLE | The 2017 Blooper Reel

STYLE | The 2017 Blooper Reel

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The 2017 Blooper Reel

As always, this is my most well loved post. Every one gets such a thrill out of the goofy shots that don’t make the cut for publishing. So here it is, the 2017 blooper reel fresh off the press! If you ask my partner, he will more than likely tell you that this a closer to accurate picture of what it’s like to be around me. Constant silly faces paired with even sillier voices and accents… mostly southern. There was a reason my parents put me in acting and dancing, I was always on the move and doing something ridiculous. Think of this as a belated holiday gift from The Pretty Secrets to you, my dear reader.

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Winter Wonderland Goddess

Oh you thought I put on lipstick like a normal human being? Think again. My mouth must be agape and my phone doubles as a medium effective mirror. Bonus points for wearing a hat too small for my head so that it accentuates any forehead wrinkles when making a surprised expression. Might I entice you with the original Star Girl post by mentioning there is a cute pug cameo?

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The Curbside Gawker

How is it possible I was witness to someone wearing something slightly more ridiculous than I? Look at me! Candy striped pants, a tie dye jacket. I look like a Rolling Stones song on acid. But I did, I saw a man wearing a giant foam piece of cheese hat. Get your sugar fix and check out Candy Striped.

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Queen of the Gas Station

I don’t believe this is what Lana Del Rey had in mind when she wrote the song Queen of the Gas Station. That’s the fun thing about personal interpretations of art, it can mean whatever you want! It is so fortunate that my necklace is creating a neck wrinkle effect. It’s hard being so attracted 24/7. 😉 If you love the barren landscapes of the desert, check out Disco Gas Station. Slurpees not included.

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Baby’s in the Corner

On occasion, a happy accident happens. While my sister tried to photograph the moon coming into view, I conveniently snuck into the corner of the shot. Who doesn’t want a roadkill looking hat adding some drama to a celestial shot? I certainly do. Peep The Saguaro Park. But also actually visit the Saguaro National Park too, if you can. Fact: it is stunning.

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Speaking in Sign Language

I have learned many things about myself over the years. One of which is that I love conveying my thoughts with hand gestures. Particular fingers such as the middle or a thumb, see a lot of action over the course of a shoot. I also use them to art direct from whilst in front of the camera, much to the chagrin of many of the photographers. On the left is Frosty Days and on the right, The Velvet Fog.

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More Famous than the Rolling Stones Tongue

What would the 2017 blooper reel be without a couple of tongue shots? It would be nothing. The tongue is an enduring staple and symbol of my impatience with myself. The real trick is when I’m goofy enough to make myself laugh authentically and voila, a genuine expression of my joy is captured in an attractive way. It’s the tongue shots that lead to that. Above photo from Alberta’s Biggest & Best Tour. Below from A Leg Up.

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Bust A Move

If you’re looking for Elaine Benes style dance poses, you’ve come to the right place. There is an abundance of those here at The Pretty Secrets. Just check out that derp face denim dance above from The Blues are Still Blue. Or perhaps an almost stumble in The What to Wear When You Have Pink Hair post. But most importantly, the pretend surfer from In the Belly of the Snake. Just a couple of options for you to choose from. Variety is the spice of life!

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Happy Happy Mad & Madder

99% of the time I am a goofy subject to work with as indicated on the left side from the post Changing Stripes. The extreme opposite of the emotion is frustration. Shooting isn’t always the pleasure I want it to be. There are many variables beyond control. The sun is going down. The camera is acting weird. The outfit doesn’t look as good on camera as in person. Your mom isn’t listening to you. Your eyebrows are crooked and you look like a tired doormat. The usual grievances one finds at their place of business. That’s when the photo on the right hand side happens. Those are the anger eyes of the Joshua Tree Sunset post.

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I’ll Shoot Myself

When a photographer is not at my disposal when I’m shooting during normal work hours or when I decide to travel alone, it’s just me and a tripod. The results are often a real treat. The app that controls my camera sometimes likes to get stuck and shoot 30 frames in one go. This is often when my hair drama is captured. Example number 1: The above shot trying to not look like Animal from The Muppets (fail) while getting photobombed by other ferry passengers. This was from my trip to The Sunshine Coast with Ford Canada. Or below on the left when my hair got caught on my umbrella in Hyde Park. Or the angry hair flip in my bedroom for 10 Ways to Make Your Home More Spa Like.

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Out of Focus in Motion

Shooting wellness content is when I really shine. First of all, you need to be moving around because it’s about activity. Luckily for me, I don’t have a myriad of facial expressions that convey an expression of pain or goofiness. Nope, not me. That’s not me at all… Oh come on guys! We all know that’s sarcasm. Goof is my resting state. Check out the nice photos that made the cut in 5 Things I Wish I Knew When I started Running.

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The Gift that Keeps Giving

All of this selfless gifting has tired this present right out. Look at her. Hanging out naked under a box wearing all the make up known to man just to create a spectacular Christmas card! She needs a big ol drink. But if you’re curious, here’s How to Make A Personalized Holiday Card.

Thanks to all you readers who make any of this possible! The 2017 blooper reel is my way of both thanking you with a piece of entertainment while opening the door a crack to get a taste of reality from this weird job. I’m thinking about making this an-every-six-months segment rather than waiting till the end of the year. What do you think? Bloopers twice a year yes or no?

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STYLE | A Not So Sweet Day at Sugar Beach

STYLE | A Not So Sweet Day at Sugar Beach

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A Not So Sweet Day at Sugar Beach

I flew out to Toronto at the end of October with the full intention of finally making the trek out to Sugar Beach. I moved away from Toronto the year it opened, of course. It’s located next to the Redpath Sugar Refinery so the area smells deeply of burnt candy. I kind of enjoyed that element though. We arrived to a serene scene only to realize why it was completely empty. Here’s why it was a not so sweet day at Sugar Beach:

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IT WAS SO COLD

Despite Toronto being unseasonably warm in October, the waterfront was a windstorm. Pink beach umbrellas, while very attractive, do little to block wind. Our eyes were slowly filling with sand. Along with my camera lens. My darling photographer, CC Ruth was a stylish trooper throughout the whole experience. I found out first hand that my Alexander Wang Anouk boots are not made for cold beaches.

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OUTFIT DETAILS

hat – c/o ALDO
sunglasses – Ray-ban Aviators
earrings – c/o ALDO Shoes
lipstick – c/o Smashbox in Chill Zone
scarf – vintage
bodysuit – c/o Wolford
coat – c/o H&M
denim – c/o Frank & Oak
boots – Alexander Wang

 

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Thank goodness I at least had this synthetic yeti coat that trapped all my heat in. Pro tip to on how to not have a not so sweet day at Sugar Beach: go in the the summertime. Or better yet, check the weather forecast for wind before traveling all the way to the waterfront. Should you find yourself in the same position, do what we did and head to the Saks 5th Avenue food hall. I suggest the coconut water from Greenhouse Juicery Co. Maybe even one of their ginger juice booster shots to avoid any ailments post cold beach.

photographs – CC Ruth

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STYLE | What to Wear When You Have Pink Hair

STYLE | What to Wear When You Have Pink Hair

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WHAT TO WEAR WHEN YOU HAVE PINK HAIR

People are afraid to dye their hair wild colours in the first place. There is always the excuse of workplace standards among other reasons to hold off. Although this may be true in some cases, it’s the fear of not knowing what to wear with the dyed hair that is the major stoplight. I began my journey into rainbow dyed hair when I was 13 and obsessed with the idea of being a raver. While I was too young to actually attend any raves, I did manage to dress the part. I started with velvet violet Manic Panic hair dye. That, in addition to my oversized orange chunky chain and wide legged jeans, made me look legit. I was definitely a poseur. That was nearly two decades ago so I have some authority on the topic. Here are a few ideas on what to wear when you have pink hair.

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SIMPLY WHITE

Let’s begin with some musical inspiration to kick off this journey. May I suggest looking no further than the famous scene from Funny Face. Think Pink!  Alright, now that we know that the answer to all of life’s largest questions is without a doubt PINK, we can delve in. You have dyed your hair pink so there is no reason to hide it. You should make it pop by wearing a colour like white. It will stand out and make the pink look even more vibrant. It’s an in real life optical illusion that I swear by. I especially love wearing my textured yeti coat to add a secondary element of pizazz to the overall look.

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MONOCHROME

Might I suggest going full Jolly Green Lady of Brooklyn and ensconcing your whole existence in the colour pink? Forget not buying anything new for one year! Why don’t you challenge yourself to only wear one colour? Pink, of course. Now that would be a blog I would follow religiously. UPDATE: upon further research their is also a Pink Woman of Hollywood. She is pinktacular goals.

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LEAN IN TO THE RAINBOW

If you embrace your pink hair, you should embrace the spectrum of the rainbow too. We’re all going to die eventually…. or dye our hair another colour so why not lean in to loud looks? Today I wore a red plaid jacket that screamed mistmatched with my hair. But I decided I was power clashing the pink hair on the red plaid coat. Suddenly, through my rose tinted shades, the colour combination began to make perfect sense.

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OUTFIT DETAILS

Hat – vintage
Hair dye – c/o Clairol Color Crave in Flamingo
Top – c/o H&M
Shoes – c/o VANS Sk8-Hi
Yeti coat – c/o H&M White Faux Fur Jacket
Denim – c/o Frank & Oak Stevie Jeans

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IN CONCLUSION…

What to wear when you have pink hair = whatever makes you feel completely awesome. You will already be catching eyes with your vibrant mane, might as well give them something to really feast their eyes upon. With that said, this is not a hair colour for the wallflower or faint of heart. Happy dyeing!

photographs – Jesse Sand

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