Elated for Strike Midnight

In this day and age, most of us are at least somewhat aware of the effect that food (and the chemicals in some food) has on our overall health. Many people put a huge amount of thought into eating organic produce whenever possible, cutting out processed foods, and trying to eat local and ethically harvested goods. So why is it that despite all the effort we put into thinking about what goes into our bodies, many of us give almost no thought to what we put on our skin?

Elate Cosmetics is here to give consumers the option of high quality, ethical makeup that’s good not only for people, but also for animals and the environment. I sat down with Elate's Alexandra Loughton, to discuss why they’ve committed to championing the cause of clean cosmetics, and to get her take on the Victoria fashion and makeup scene.

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Elate Cosmetics was born when Melodie Reynolds, the company's founder, was unboxing a much coveted beauty product. As a makeup artist for twenty years, she was no stranger to the waste that often accompanies the fancy packaging of many cosmetics. But when faced with the mountain of packaging left behind by this particular product, she was inspired to create a line of beauty products to fill the void left by so many companies; products that are toxin and cruelty free, as well as low waste and sustainably created. Melodie's dedicated squad includes lead artist Alexandra (who was Melodie's first employee), as well as Heather and Jessica who manage the shipping/production and retail teams. They, along with their fellow team members, carry on the values of the company and help deliver Elate's message to their customers.

So what sets them apart from the rest? For starters, their packaging. Often reusable, always recyclable, their collection features bamboo compacts that are as functional as they are beautiful. Many of their products are designed to be refillable, meaning that once you finish you finish your initial purchase, you can simply pop it out of the packaging, recycle the plastic component, and grab a refill of the product to put back into your bamboo compact.

Not only is their take on packaging a breath of fresh air, their cruelty free values are too. Their products are certified vegan, making them the perfect choice for animal lover’s such as myself. While more and more companies are taking on a cruelty free approach (yay!), Elate takes it a step further by also using fairly traded ingredients that are, as Alexandra explains, “cruelty free for animals, but also for people”. And, as the cherry on top, their formulas are all 100% toxin free!

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So now that you’ve gotten to know Elate Cosmetics a bit better, where should you get started if you want to try their line? “My top 3 products are our original lipsticks, Fresh Tint Foundation, and new Brow Balm” says Alexandra. “Many of our products are also multi-use, such as the Brow Balm which can also be used on the lids”. You can swing by their headquarters at Bastion Square, right here in Victoria, to check out some of the goodies. Or if you’d prefer to see them in action, they’ll be getting our models gorgeous for Strike Midnight! Alexandra gave us an inside scoop on what we can expect to see; fresh faces, smudged eyes, and bitten lips inspired by looks like the ones seen on John Galliano’s models this season. Having seen the magic they worked at our Victoria Fashion Week launch event last year, I can promise you that you will not be disappointed with the looks they’ll be serving. And, one thing the Elate team loved about their previous experience working with VicFW? "The local makeup artists!" Alexandra said. “Everyone was super impressed by their talent, as well as their efficiency. They actually ended up being way ahead of schedule.” And as I'm sure you've seen for yourself, the models looked fantastic!

There are so, so many benefits to incorporating more natural brands into your beauty routine. I’ve made the switch myself, so I can say with confidence that you can expect to see an improvement in your skin’s texture and condition once it’s no longer weighed down by heavy synthetics. When you become more conscious of what goes into the making of your makeup, you’ll find a more mindful approach to your morning routine, which in turn can lead you to become more conscious of making sustainable choices in other areas of your life. And with an easily accessible local company that stacks up to (and exceeds) any mainstream brand found on the shelves of Sephora, there’s really no reason not to give natural a try.

Wear the Runway


Every fashion lover eagerly awaits the newest runway shows, for a glimpse at the creative and fanciful fashions paraded down them each season. Unfortunately, as fun as they are to stare at wistfully on the internet, runway clothing is often not only too expensive, but also too impractical for your average girl to wear in her day to day life.

But don’t give up on your dreams of owning a piece of the latest trends; there are a ton of ways to fill your wardrobe with all the pretty things your heart desires, without draining your bank account in the process, or stepping too far out of your comfort zone.

The Fashion Cycle

Luckily, fashion is a very cyclical beast. With trends being so frequently rediscovered and brought back into the spotlight, everything eventually comes back in style in some form or another. A perfect example of this is the retro checks and vintage florals that showed in collections from Prada to Mulberry during the Fall/Winter 2017 season.

Want to steal the look? The great thing about vintage revival is, obviously, the vintage part. And vintage means that those prints are already out there in the world, for a lot cheaper than what you would pay for off-the-runway garments. Check out your local thrift stores to score some pre-made garments, which you can wear straight off the hanger or, if you’re crafty, alter to make more current.


Tweak, cut, hem, tailor, and have fun

The best part about getting a great deal on secondhand clothing is that you can afford to alter to your heart’s content, without worrying about shredding your money in the process. A vintage blouse with a fashion forward print but outdated silhouette can easily be given new life with a few tweaks, like the addition of new buttons of the removal of mutton sleeves. If alteration isn't your cup of tea, look for creative ways to style your thrift store finds instead. An old silk bathrobe can make a killer kimono, just think outside the garment box!

How-to : The Lingerie Look

Also seen on the runway? Lingerie inspired clothing and, by extension, lots of skin. The lingerie as streetwear trend has been going strong for a while now, and you can easily echo the aesthetic without fully committing, or wear lingerie with a slightly more conservative style.

One way to do this is to look for pieces inspired by garments traditionally worn as lingerie, such as camisole tops or slip dresses. True, their original purpose is to be worn under something else, but these days they’re made more with the intention of functioning as clothing in and of themselves. The delicate silhouettes and feminine details still remain, and hint at their original purpose, but it's a step above a bralette or something that would leave you feeling exposed.


Or, if you have no qualms about showing skin, you can just go for it and wear all the lingerie you want! And if you want to elevate the look, menswear provides a beautiful contrast to the flirty feminine style of lingerie. For example, a lace bodice instantly looks more high fashion when paired with sleek cigarette cut trousers. If menswear isn’t your jam, any time you add “extra” clothing to something skimpy, it will automatically make it look less so. Personally, I love the look of a turtleneck under a slip dress or a cardigan over top. 

The point is, it’s easy to fall victim to the misconception that runway fashion is largely unobtainable to the average person, or unwearable in day to day life. But that is simply not the case! True, most of us can’t afford to buy the newest Versace, and we would almost definitely get written up for wearing nothing but a bra to the office, but there are workarounds for almost every fashion conundrum out there. You just need to get creative! After all, what’s fashion without a lot of creativity?

Get Ready to Glow

BY: MIKAYLA SHIANNE @mikayla.shianne

Throughout 2017, we have seen a very prominent beauty trend: glow. From something as minimal as a subtle cheek highlight to a full glam strobe to the face, it is a look you can wear every day as well as to parties such as our Strike Midnight event in November. This is a trend I am in love with, and continue to experiment with, as the possibilities are seriously endless.


Spotlight on the Glow Trend

The beauty trend encompasses cheekbones as well as lips, bringing melted metals and glossy lips to the table, and bringing back those 90’s vibes we are all reminiscing about. In fact, one of the biggest beauty trends of the recent 2018 fashion weeks was just that: glitter and glow. From adding Swarovski crystals to the strands of models' hair at the Dries Van Noten show to something as simple as a no-makeup makeup look featuring stunning face shaping glow, it was gorgeous. Some runway shows,  such as Stella Jean, even went as far as adding holo glitter to models' eyelids.

Good news is, you don’t have to break the bank to carry on the glow trend; drugstore brands are getting in on the trend with bargain beauty brands releasing new highlights and strobe liquids monthly. Of course, your favourite luxury beauty brands are slamming Sephora’s shelves with new innovations for that “glow up” that we are all searching for.

Unlike cat eyes and a face-altering contour, Highlighting is foolproof; you can hardly mess it up! Just a swipe to the cheekbones and you are ready to hit up the next fashion party or runway show on your schedule.


four Favourites to get the Ultimate Glow Look

I have done my fair share of scouting out the best new highlight or glosses, and I wanted to share my top 4 to help your Strike Midnight makeup look come together.

#1 Champagne Pop

First and top of my list is Becca’s Champagne Pop; a shade you have probably run tired of hearing about, but it is worth every rave. The stunning golden glow provides you with a light sheen to your face without bombarding your skin with chunky pieces of glitter. It lasts all day and doesn’t streak or run for my fellow oily gals out there.

#2 Cover FX

If you aren’t sure on which colour or finish of highlight you are on the look for, the Cover FX Perfect Light Highlighting Palette is perfect. It has a palette for light & deep skin tones with the option of a golden highlight, or a cooler toned highlight in both a creme finish and powder. Both great on their own, or layered formulas for an even dewier glow; great for beginners!

#3 Fenty Beauty’s Gloss Bomb

Moving onto a “lip highlight,” I have been loving Fenty Beauty’s Gloss Bomb. Rihanna really hit the nail on the head with this formula; both nourishing and non-sticky, this gloss provides a light peachy tone with a gorgeous glow straight from a magazine ad.

#4 Becca’s Crystal Glow Gloss

Last but certainly not least, we have another Becca product. Becca really knows how to pump out great highlights and glows whether for face or lips, and the liquid crystal glow glosses are with it. I have the shade Champagne Dream x Bellini, aka. Champagne pop for your lips. Great as a lip topper or on it’s own, it gives a beautiful glow without being over dramatic foil or metallic look, and lasts impressively long for a gloss. Also, it smells amazing so how could you go wrong?

With the Strike Midnight party approaching in a few weeks, you have the perfect excuse to go test some highlights and practice your party glow. Whether you go for one of my picks or try something new, just remember to have fun! Go get your glow on!

How-to: Radiant Skin for Big Events

By: Emma Newton @emm.bellish

I am a self professed skincare addict. So, while I’m planning my outfit for any big events, I’m always planning how to put my best face forward and set a good base for my makeup. Not sure how to get your skin camera ready in time? Fear not, I’ve got a list of tips and tricks that are guaranteed to give you the get-up-and-glow you need for the night!


Start Early

The thing about the delicate skin on your face is that it won’t usually take to a new routine immediately and, like a stubborn teenager, it may fight you a bit before it accepts that you’re trying to help it. With that in mind, don’t leave the dramatic changes until the night before an event. Take the time to start slowly introducing new products and routines weeks before the event, and always patch test before covering your whole face in something you’ve never used before.

If you’re planning on trying a new product or treatment in preparation for Strike Midnight (or any other event), do it at least a week before, to account for the possibility of an adverse reaction or redness/irritation that may occur. I always think that red is a great colour for lipstick, but not so much for my whole face.

Giving yourself a good cushion of time to slowly work up to the main event will help you avoid stressing your skin with too many treatments at once, which can end up backfiring and sending any facial problems into overdrive.


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Keep Up the Good Work

The event is fast approaching, so what’s next? First of all, give yourself a pat on your back for sitting through all of that. You have more patience than I do, and I salute you. After all that effort, you’ll want to make sure you keep reaping the rewards all the way up to Strike Midnight. A couple of days before the event, double down on your skincare routine, which should include cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturising. Avoid foaming cleansers or products with sulfates, which strip away your skin’s natural moisture barrier and contribute to a dull complexion, undoing all your hard work.

You can help avoid breakouts by washing all your sheets, pillowcases, towels, and anything else that regularly comes in contact with your face and runs the risk of getting oily or covered in bacteria. If you do end up getting a couple of face demons, don’t panic. Just dab some tea tree oil on them and leave them overnight. By morning, they should be tamed!

This is also a good time to pluck or wax, so that you won’t have too much stubble by the time of the event, but you also won’t have any remaining bumps or irritation.


Treat Yourself the Night Before

Here comes the fun part. Now you just get to kick back and treat yourself to your very own at home spa treatments! Assuming you’ve followed the advice given above, your skin should already be in good shape for the following day. All that’s left now is to make sure it stays that way, by giving it a little extra boost.

I personally love doing a face mask or two before a night out. I find that my skin looks best the day after I do one, so that makes the night before an event the perfect time to put on a mask. I like to double up on my masks, to make the most of the benefits they provide depending on what the different areas of my face needs. For example, I have the worst pores in the world, so I usually apply a charcoal mask on my T-Zone (cheeks, nose, and between eyebrows). But, since charcoal masks can be drying and the rest of my face is really sensitive, I generally use a more soothing lavender based mask everywhere else, to combat redness and dry spots. It’s also a good idea to apply your mask right after showering, after the steam has prepped your face for you.

If you’re like me, you probably like to indulge in some junk food while treating yourself to a face mask. But, hard though it may be, I would recommend you set aside the salty snacks, which can contribute to water retention and bloating and leave you with puffy eyes in the morning.

Finally, after you’ve removed your face mask, make sure to follow up with a toner to lock in the goodness from your masks. After all that, have any early bedtime! You’ll wake up fresh faced and ready to party until midnight. Now, glow forth and conquer!

5 Fall Must-Haves from Local Shops

By: Emma Newton @emm.bellish

Fall is just around the corner, so it's probably time to get started on your fall wardrobe. Not sure where to start? We've curated a selection of great pieces from local businesses to kickstart your autumnal attire, and get you excited for the season. And if you like what you see, you'll know exactly where to find it! Simply add a mug of cider, and you're all set for the chilly months ahead. 


1. Makeup

Every great outfit needs great makeup to complete the look. We're loving the fall collection from Elate Cosmetics, and (bonus!) their whole line is toxin and cruelty free! Warm, rich colours like these bring the cozy you need on a cold and rainy day, and compliment a wide variety of skintones.

2. Dress

Cozy, minimal, and oh so sleek, this little number from Pink Martini (carried at Migration boutique) has it all. A simple but chic dress like this can be worn day or night, making it the perfect basic piece for a fall wardrobe. The neutral shade can be kept laid back with similar accessories, or work as the perfect backdrop for bolder ones.

3. Jewellery

Rich, deep gems and bright golds bring to mind the dark colours that adorn the leaves and trees. Decorate your fingers in the same style, with these dainty but dark rings from Little Gold.

4. Clutch

We're obsessed with this beauty from Ruth & Nelly Vintage! Handmade and lovely like your favourite cozy quilt, it doesn't get more autumnal than this gorgeous needlework. The red poppies are beautiful year round, but even more so when paired with the forest greens of fall.

5. jacket

How could we make a post about fall clothing without including a classic, gorgeous leather moto jacket? It's a staple in just about every closet for a reason; the structure and silhouette go with pretty much everything, from jeans and a t-shirt to a sparkly cocktail dress. This Mackage jacket from Meraki boutique is just begging for you to take it home.

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Everything You Need to Know About Open Casting Calls

By: Emma Newton @emm.bellish

Casting calls can be intimidating, whether it's your first or hundredth time going to one. So if you're not sure what to expect, or you just want to brush up on what to be prepared for, we've broken it down to make it a little less stressful.



When you're styling yourself for a casting call, make "less is more" your mantra. If you love wearing bold, bright colours and experimenting with makeup different trends in your day to day life, more power to you! But from a designer or casting director's point of view, they'll be looking for what you provide as a blank canvas who they can style as needed. For that reason, stick to minimal makeup that will enhance your features without distracting from them or going over the top. The idea is to give the potential client an idea of what they could do with your face, with no preconceived notions distracting from their vision. The same principle goes for hairstyling; keep it simple, and let your face do the talking. Wear your hair back, if possible, or at least off your face. Overall, make sure to show up well groomed in all aspects.


Basically the same idea. You want to be remembered for what you bring to the table, not the unusual outfit you were wearing. The client will want to be able to get an idea of how their clothes would look and fit on you, so you should wear something flattering and form fitting, but not skintight. Some good options for girls are a pair of mid or high rise skinny jeans, tank tops, leggings, or form fitting dresses. Guys can wear skinny jeans and a fitted tee or tank. Stick to neutral colours that don't distract from your face, and avoid branding and prints. For female models, good heels are essential. It's extremely important that the client is able to see how you walk in heels, as they're a staple for most runway shows or shoots.



For the most part, castings are usually pretty straight forward. You'll most likely be asked to demonstrate your walk (if it's for a runway show) and take a few test shots for later consideration. Make sure you bring your comp card, as well as any additional information or supplies mentioned in the briefing or casting call description. As a rule of thumb, it's always good to show up slightly ahead of time. This not only shows that you respect the designer or director's time, but it also may help you be seen sooner rather than later. Attitude is also extremely important, as with any job. Be polite, cheerful (but professional), and listen to any directions that you're given. Basically, treat it like a job interview. No employer wants to hire someone who doesn't seem like they're giving 100%, and the same goes for designers and casting directors. And finally, have fun! Don't be afraid to show your personality and make yourself stand out from the crowd. At the end of the day, you want to be memorable.


Interview w/ Sarah Runnalls

By: Emma Newton @emm.bellish

Long time no see, Victoria! Did you miss us? We're back and gearing up for new and exciting things here at VicFW. So if you missed our launch event, don't worry! Keep an eye on our social media for announcements on what's coming next, but until then, we have an exclusive interview with designer Sarah Runnalls to keep you going.


Sarah's collection was one of the standouts of the launch event, and has continued to garner attention long after the show has ended. At the event, there was a lot of chatter about the clothing she presented. We were delighted to hear that, according to Sarah, “I've gotten only really positive feedback from my spring line. It's the first collection I've done in a few years so it's really nice to be doing what I love and have people's support and interest in my work.” She has continued to see the positivity resulting from her hard work, saying “I've had several people ask to collaborate since the show for editorials and different types of shoots.” And, there's definitely no shortage of creative minds in and around Victoria for her to work with, as Sarah herself has noted. “I was surprised to see how many people there are in the fashion industry here in Victoria” she continues “whether it be designers or photographers or models, there are a bunch of people interested in fashion and it's nice to see we have that community here.”

So amongst all of these other creative people, what makes Sarah's garments stand out? For starters, everything is painstakingly handmade by Sarah herself, making each piece of clothing perfect down to the last detail. And with the clean lines and minimalist silhouettes that make up Sarah's collection, there's really no room for error. As with her spring/summer collection, we can expect a continuation of this aesthetic from her next showing. “Fall/winter is my favourite season to design for” says Sarah “so I've got some interesting plans for it. I'm going to stick with my minimalistic silhouettes but go heavy with textures and application.” Her delicate yet architectural style won over the hearts of VicFW attendees, so her next collection is sure to be another hit. But don't just take our word for it, head over to Sarah's Instagram (sarahrunnallscollection) to see for yourself. Or, keep an eye out for the launch of the website that's currently in the works, since she has “mostly been working on the online side of [her] business, getting a proper website up and running and stuff like that.“


We are really looking forward to seeing what Sarah Runnalls comes up with next, after the killer show she put on at the VicFW launch. Her fresh, modern take on design is sure to impress, and we'll be keeping a close watch on what she debuts this fall. Do you have a favourite piece from her collection? Or maybe you're just dying to own one of her designs? Sarah's pieces are available to purchase from her Etsy storefront, srunnallscollection.


The Models of Victoria Fashion Week

By: Emma Newton @emm.bellish

You've already heard all about our amazing designers, so you're no doubt excited for our upcoming runway show. And we couldn't have a runway without models! We've brought together a fantastic, diverse group of guys and girls to present the clothing and make the show truly memorable. But our models are more than just pretty faces (though they're definitely that too), so we'd like you to get to know the process behind getting runway ready, and to find out a little more about some of our models.

Models Tyna Kottova, Lexi Redman and Katherine Slingsby at the Victoria Fashion Week VIP Launch Party. Photo by Gregory Forsberg.

Models Tyna Kottova, Lexi Redman and Katherine Slingsby at the Victoria Fashion Week VIP Launch Party. Photo by Gregory Forsberg.

Speaking of pretty faces, one step in getting ready for the big night is taking care of your skin in the weeks ahead of the show. Many of our models are using products from Lush to pamper their skin (Ocean Salt has been a favourite), and toxin-free cosmetics from one of our sponsors, Elate Cosmetics. As well as using products from Elate, one of our models, Emily Mann, takes care of her skin by promptly removing any makeup as soon as she gets home, to give her skin a chance to breathe and replenish itself.

Models Geneva Frampton, Sunny Duggal and Alicia Maclaren at the Victoria Fashion Week VIP Launch Party. Photo by Gregory Forsberg.

Models Geneva Frampton, Sunny Duggal and Alicia Maclaren at the Victoria Fashion Week VIP Launch Party. Photo by Gregory Forsberg.

Equally as important as a model's face is his or her walk, and it's one of the things we really looked for when booking for the show. Since not everyone is born with a strut like Karlie Kloss, model Melissa Smith (@canadiancurlista) has been improving on her already great walk by watching videos on how to amp up her stride. As well as this, she's been working on giving face in preparation for the launch event. But luckily, she's already had plenty of practice after being featured in one of our promo photos leading up to the event, as well as acting as a stand in for a TV show.

Models Sophia Dishaw, Hannah Morrison and Vanessa Prescott at the Victoria Fashion Week VIP Launch Party. Photo by Gregory Forsberg.

Models Sophia Dishaw, Hannah Morrison and Vanessa Prescott at the Victoria Fashion Week VIP Launch Party. Photo by Gregory Forsberg.

If you'd like to catch either Emily or Melissa, make sure to get your launch event tickets fast! Emily will be walking for Paradise boutique, Covet +Keep, and Sarah Runnalls, while Melissa will be walking for Ola Dubois, Nikki Babie, Teresa Lindsay, and Leisure.