Joy And Back: A great dress for a great cause

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So since Valentine’s Day is on the horizon, I invited Winnipeg/Toronto wedding and event planner Alli of Alli Mae Fresh Events to contribute a post on an exciting opportunity for former brides to make a difference after their wedding day. Through a simple wedding dress donation, former brides are giving their dresses a new home for a worthy cause.

Hi A Pop of Colour readers! I’m so excited to take over the blog today to discuss my passion project – Joy And Back. I work closely with brides across Toronto and Winnipeg to style and coordinate their dream weddings. It’s a privilege to be a wedding planner and get the opportunity to be a part of such an incredible milestone between two people. In my line of work I often see couples working with a limited ‘apparel’ budget because weddings are just so darn expensive. Most of my clients really struggle with the high costs associated with a wedding and brides don’t realize how much their dress will cost until they start shopping.

Inspired by a similar initiative already present in a few markets, Joy And Back is a shopping option for couples on a budget or those looking to make a difference. Former brides donate their wedding dresses and accessories, the items are re-sold at a fraction of their original retail value and all profits are donated to local cancer support and research initiatives. Through Joy And Back a wedding dress becomes more than just a dress to wear once; it becomes a financial, environmental and social way for a couple to contribute on their wedding day, simply by buying (and hopefully) re-donating their dress.


Joy And Back is dedicated to the memory of family and friends who have passed away from or have been diagnosed with cancer. It also celebrates the survivors and allows brides to share their stories and pass on a dress that would otherwise go unused after its first wear. It’s a win-win for all!

Brides have been super responsive to this initiative, but in order to keep it going (and growing), I am eager for beautiful wedding dresses and accessories that are eight years old or less. These donations can make a big impact. One dress that is sold and donated two to three times can result in thousands of dollars in donations for family affected by a cancer diagnosis. Consider donating your wedding dress if it’s taking up room in your closet!

For more information on how you can donate your dress, please visit my website


Please note this is a guest post. I received no compensation for this post, I just think it’s an awesome initiative and I wanted to help spread the word!

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In bloom: A Valentine’s Day look


When it comes to Valentine’s Day makeup, there’s really two options – a red lip or a soft pink look.  Okay, there’s obviously more, but to me, these two colours just scream Valentine’s Day.

Since red lipstick is so not kissable, I naturally gravitate towards pink.  You can wear it bold, you can wear it soft, play it up on your eyes, on your lips, cheeks, you name it.  It’s an easy colour to incorporate into your makeup for the most romantic day of the year.

Since men love shiny things, I decided to jazz up a soft pink look with some rose-gold glitter to the eyes.  I naturally had to go with the Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette, since delectable sweet treats are a V-Day staple and although this guy looks and smells like chocolate, it’s calorie free. I paired it with some flirty lashes and a soft lip for the perfect Valentine’s Day date-night look.

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1. Fill in your brows, then apply a light pink cream shadow to your lids to act as a eyeshadow primer. I used Ombres Sothys in Rose Tendre, a soft gel eyeshadow that feels like a mousse.

2. Grabbing the Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette, I applied Strawberry Bon Bon to the lid area.

3. From the same palette, I applied Champagne Truffle over top Strawberry Bon Bon to add a bit more pink and some shimmer.

4. For the glitter, I used Stila Magnificant Metals foiled eyeshadow in Kitten over the eyeshadow shades. Although this does come with a mixing medium, I just applied it with my fingers.

5. With a crease brush, I put Black Forest Truffle into my crease area to darken it up. I chose to keep it quite light though, since I want this look to be more romantic as opposed to all-out sexy.

6. Apply your foundation then move onto lashes. Apply some mascara and some false lashes.  Before I did this, I actually lightly lined my upper waterline with a black pencil liner just to add some darkness to the lash line since I’m not using a liner. For the lashes, I used Kiss Looks So Natural lashes in Shy.

7. I decided I needed a bit more glitter, so I applied the glittery end of the Revlon PhotoReady Eye Art in Peach Prism.

8. For the lower lash line, I lightly applied Black Forest Truffle, lined my waterline with a nude liner to open it up, then added some mascara to my lower lashes. For concealer I used Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Concealer.

9. Next up, contour, highlight and add some blush. For my contour, first I applied Sephora Bright Future Gel Serum Concealer in Devil’s Food to the hollows of my cheekbones, which I later blended out with a beauty blender. Over top, I used the NYX Contour and Highlight kit. For blush, I used MAC Oh, My! blush (from the Flamingo Park collection – online exclusive).  For the highlight I used Becca Champagne Pop.

10. For the lips, I first lined my lips with a nude-pink lip liner. Then I applied Maybelline Vivid Matte Liquid in Pink Charge with MAC Creme de Nude over top. Finally, I sprayed Sothys Fresh & Fix mist to set everything.

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For the hair, first I washed it with Arbonne Pure Vibrance Lustre Fortifying Shampoo and Fortifying Creme Conditioner, which is for dull or chemically treated hair.  These products restore hair to healthy, luminous shine and gives you lustre from root to tip.  From there, I went in with my One Styling Bubble Wand curler for some beachy waves that relax as the night goes on.  Spray it with hairspray (love Aveda Air Control) then mist on some Drybar Sparkling Soda for some shine and you’re done!


I actually wore this look last Saturday night, and even though date night ended up getting cancelled, I totally want to recreate it.  The whole thing is just so soft and feminine and can be  worn with any outfit. You can choose to skip the glitter if you wish to downplay the eyes a little more, or go with a bolder look if you want to play up the lips. Let me know if you decide to wear this for Valentine’s Day!

How are you planning on wearing your makeup on VDay?

Please note, products sent by PR. All opinions are my own.

Like what you read?  Check out these related posts., Inc.

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Pedi perfect: The perfect at-home pedicure for Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Day is one of my all-time favourite holidays.  It doesn’t matter if you are spending it with a significant other or your girls, it’s just such a fun holiday.  You can get all dressed up, go and pamper yourself, or get some drinks and dessert.  I mean, what’s not to love?

One of my favourite Valentine’s Day activities is getting pedicures. Really, anything at the spa is always a good time.  But, with it being such a popular holiday, spas tend to book up really quick. If you are boyfriend-less this year, grab a bunch of girls, a bottle of wine, and some cupcakes, and host an at-home pedi night.

If you have a boyfriend or significant other, grab those feet and use them to their full potential. According to a new national survey, Canadian women tiptoe around flirting with their feet and toes and are not using them to their full, fun potential. Electronic nailcare line Amope has released an original survey by Angus Reid that reveals that Canadian women are far less confident about their feet and toes than men. In fact, nearly two million Canadian women avoid romantic situations that require their feet to be up close and personal, due to a lack of confidence in the way their feet look and feel.  Also, almost one-quarter (21 per cent) of Canadian men and women are open to the idea of toe sucking, yet a large percentage of women (71 per cent) are uncomfortable with the idea.


Although I do like the look of my feet, I just hate having them touched. So when I read those stats, I thought “there’s no way anyone is sucking on my toes”. But then I read that Manitobans are actually the least comfortable with that idea (Albertans were the most comfortable with it), and since I’m from Winnipeg, I guess I just fit nicely in that bracket.

Clearly our feet are much more than just tools to walk. In fact, 43 per cent of Canadians agree that a romantic foot massage is a ‘way to your heart’, so it’s important to keep them in tip-top shape.

If you are are planning on skipping the spa this year, it’s just as much fun to host an at-home pedi party as well. I actually did this last Friday night and since I have an abundance of nail polish and gadgets, it was nice to just have some girlfriends over, blast music, drink wine, and just gossip.

AmopeTo smooth and prep feet we used the Clarisonic Pedi device, which is quite pricey for at-home use (C$230 from Sephora). If you love to give yourself a pedicure quite frequently, then it would be worthwhile to invest in this gadget, otherwise you can find more affordable products to buff and smooth those feet (the Amope Electronic Foot File would be a good alternative). After feet are nice and smooth, remove any previous polish you had on, then file and buff your nails. We used the Amope Electronic Nail Care System, which comes with an electric nail file with three different heads for filing, buffing and shining for both toe and fingernails.

After, we chose the perfect polish colour (I went with a baby pink, She Better Werk from the Patrick Starr collection for Formula X), and used the nail care products from Sephora Formula  X and Essie Gel Setter Top Coat for nail care. After, we were all left with beautiful, smooth, perfectly manicured feet.

Your feet will probably get up close and personal this Valentine’s Day, so make sure they look amazing. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of have pretty feet, just invest in some quality products.

Will you be hosting an at-home pedi party this Valentines Day?

Please note, products sent by PR. All opinions are my own.

Like what you read?  Check out these related posts., Inc.

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