I wear black

So…It’s been a while by hallaek
September 30, 2009, 11:13 pm
Filed under: Fashion

I’m pretty sure the title says it all. I, of course, apologize profusely, but I’m going to follow that up with excuses…who didn’t see that coming?

Last week was pretty ridiculous to say the least, actually it was probably one of the craziest to date in all my 1039 (or there about) weeks to date. I am directing Richard O’ Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show at my school and from Monday-Thursday last week we had auditions, then I went to Toronto to come back very early Sunday morning for callbacks! In short, I really wasn’t looking blog ready…yeah… But we have a cast! And we had the first rehearsal today! And I’m in charge! Okay, that last part…I don’t know why people are listening to me. I mean really. Have you seen me? Do I look like an authority figure? I don’t think so. But hey, it seemed to work for tonight at least! The cast is great. No. The cast is FABULOUS. It’s probably the show, but everyone is just so eager. It’s so exciting! Today just seeing them in our little rehearsal hall I could picture costumes and set and eeee! I’ll probably make them all pose for this blog eventually…oh! 4 of them are already on here! Lauren, Ruth, Calum and Garrett…they’re pretty big deals.

So I don’t have a fashion specific post with pretty pictures for today, but I have news! By the end of this week I’ll have completed gathering stuff for our very first… “Natur-Elle of the Month”! I was talking to a friend of mine (hint, she’ll be number 1 for this) and she was so excited about the blog that I just wanted to showcase her! Doesn’t hurt that she has awesome style and can pull off pretty much anything. I can’t wait to put it all together! Maybe I’ll do one for each of the cast members….hmmm…..

For now you should all check this out! It’s an article about London Fashion Week and some plus size models being seen on the runway. Um…plus size?

Mark Fast Fashion Show

Mark Fast Fashion Show

Lady Gaga and the Foam by hallaek
September 19, 2009, 3:43 pm
Filed under: Fashion

We went to a foam party! And I did not get stabbed or catch any diseases (that I’m aware of) unlike what some people were saying about foam parties, so hah! It was freezing though, and Lauren and I were wearing very little so maybe we’ll develop colds, whatever man, whatever. We didn’t do much ‘foaming’, I did get dragged in at some point, but the bubbles were turning into ice so…it was just a skating rink. Lauren thinks she’s still thawing out from last night, baha. Oh yeah, and I was Lady Gaga, no biggie. Hooded swimsuits are the best thing ever. Hopefully American Apparel will make them in various colours and I can wear one everyday, Lady Gaga will be sooo jealous…although she probably has 5 closets full of them, damn. The party was for the Vogue Charity Fashion Show and although bathing suits were highly advised, I’m pretty sure it was just me and some other poor girl who took it very seriously. I’m always pretty serious about costumes, I wish every party had some sort of fun costume advisory!

Speaking of costumes…a few days ago Lauren had to pick up her computer which was right by Winners, so naturally we had a  photo shoot on her blackberry then too. We both tried on these princess costumes made for 8-12 year old girls (no clue how we got in or out of them) and took photos as the women going through the fitting rooms told us we looked “lovely” and “darling”, oh Kingston.

(I’m turning this into a costume post)…Check this out! Coco de Mer Erotic Boutique. It’s basically a designer “adult” store, their prices are outrageous, but the stuff is so cool! It’s a great idea, I wish they had one in Toronto. I find most adult stores pretty tacky (which never really bothers me), as most probably do and this is great if someone wants something special that is…actually special! Check out the pearl ring, I now covet it. (Oh yeah, my birthday’s October 9th, just so you know…)

Pro Tip: Brush Like A Pro by Lauren Kerbel
September 17, 2009, 12:13 am
Filed under: Beauty


Hello Beautiful People,

Whenever I tell people that I am a makeup artist, one of the first things they ask me is for my best “beauty tip.” Well, because I love you all so much I will be providing you with some of my favourites right here on La Mode Au Naturelle, and here is one of my top tips. If you want to look like you just left the makeup artist’s chair, then you better be investing in some good makeup brushes. Now I know that these little tools don’t come cheap (believe me I know!) but you don’t necessarily need to buy the entire brush line from your favourite cosmetics brand. A few key tools will help you create most of the looks you would see on this site. My personal essentials include a big fluffy face brush for powder and bronzer, a big blending “fluffy” brush for your eyes, a firmer shadow brush, a small angled liner brush and the little disposable mascara applicators that you see at all makeup stations. These are my basic “musts.” Once you have these brushes in your personal kit you are set to create any glowing, smoky, natural or crazy night out look with perfectly separated, never clumpy lashes.

While it is not necessary to buy the most expensive professional brushes out there, it is important to buy good quality brushes. If you splurge a little on the brush now, it won’t fall apart later (or even right after you buy it,) there will be less chance of it irritating your skin and you will be surprised how long it will last you with proper care. I bought my first brushes at the tender age of 13 and 7 years later they’re still as good as new.

How to care for your brushes:

I like to keep my brushes in a little cup by my makeup station or in a travel brush pouch when I am traveling. Make sure you are keeping them in a place that won’t smoosh them (a technical term) or allow them to get dirty (like at the back of your makeup drawer with the dust bunnies.) It is also important to wash your brushes. This comes as a surprise to most people, but remember that good quality brushes need the dirt, oil and makeup to be cleaned from them regularly. You can spend the extra dough on a good quality makeup brush shampoo, or run to the closest drug store and get a gentle baby shampoo. Wet the brushes, put some shampoo in your hand or on a paper towel and gently twirl the brush around (not too much pressure please!) Rinse thoroughly and then lay the brushes flat on a towel to dry over night. You’ll be surprised when some of the brown brushes turn out white! This will also keep the brushes from smelling (not pleasant.) If you do this whenever you remember (I try to do it about once a month,) you will keep your treasured brushes as good as new for a long time. Completely justifies the cost, right?

xx Lauren

First day of classes… by hallaek
September 16, 2009, 3:56 pm
Filed under: Fashion

…well for me at least.

It also happened to be Ruth’s 20th birthday! A perfect excuse to drown the sorrows of classes and homework in a pitcher of Sangria White, if only I had had the attention span to ever acquire said pitcher. A million blonde, blog, youtube, Much Music, Rocky Horror, auditions questions and in the end it was easier not to worry about carrying around the weight of a pitcher (probably better for everyone in the end as the very first drink I got at the QP went all over my white scarf, naturally).

Yesterday I checked my viewing stats for the first time and expected maybe 20, 30 tops and was shocked to see that the day and day after a new post is up there’s something like 500-700 views! So a big “Thank you” is seriously in order to all of you that come on ovah (“come on over, baby”)! I was also so overwhelmed by all the people yesterday, many of whom were friends of friends that had heard through the grapevine, that were interested in being involved however way they could! I was so touched by all of this, and obviously contacting them ASAP to get some hot shots and maybe even an interview! I think it would be a fun touch to ask our everyday girls with not so everyday style how they feel about the industry and such, I will definitely incorporate it into the next post. I should also mention that although this is still mainly for women and it’s mainly women that wish to get involved, I had some requests from the boys last night and I just couldn’t turn them down, it was too cool that they wanted in!

I think I’m slowly getting better at figuring out my “style”. A lot of the time I picture these ridiculous outfits and think they’ll look so cool, or trendy, or whatever and then I always end up changing. Now I know I’m just not a fancy girl, and I LOVE comfort. So it’s all about one maybe trendy, maybe dressy (maybe sparkly) item and the rest can be my regular staples (Thank you, American Apparel and JBrand!) I think it’s because inside I will always be that 8 year girl who thought pajama bottoms were the height of fashion, no matter where I was.

British Trend Photoshoot! by Lauren Kerbel
September 12, 2009, 11:52 pm
Filed under: Beauty

Hello Beautiful People,

Although I call Toronto home, I have spent the majority of my summer across the pond in England, while there I stocked up on every issue of every British magazine that I could get my hands on so I could bring you the latest beauty trends from the UK. I called in our trusty fashion blogger Hallae to be my model and guinea pig for a photoshoot today with makeup all done by yours truly. I am posting the photos now but the details of the looks and the photoshoot will have to wait until tomorrow because I am still suffering from the 5 hour time difference (I got back to Canada only a few days ago and spent most of last night rubbing shoulders with celebs- read Hallae’s account of our night out over on the main page.)

Until then, enjoy the photos!

xx Lauren

Alright, so as promised here are the details of the looks!

Our first look is a toned down version of some of the most popular runway looks from London Fall Fashion Week. Many of the fall runways showcased “au naturelle” faces, making sure the models walked the catwalk with perfect, even skin paired with extreme contouring. For a more wearable look we used a light foundation and powder to even out Hallae’s already enviously perfect skin and then used Benefit’s Hoola Bronzer to create a more subtle version of the contoured look. Topped off with a highlighter along the top of her cheekbones and Hallae was ready to conquer the day (which entailed snuggling on the couch with a cosy blanket.)

Look #2 takes inspiration from the ladylike looks of the 40’s that are quickly becoming the fashion world’s hottest muse. Building on the previous look, we added a quick swipe of black liner to the top lash line only plus loads of mascara to give Hallae’s eyes that sexy, come hither (but please don’t) look while the lips were painted a sexy scarlett. I used a darker red lip liner before to both outline and fill in the lips before painting on a red cream lipstick to create a vintage look that is oh so wearable today dahlings.

Tapping into Hallae’s “wild side” we decided to reference the rebirth of 80s fashion as well as the London punk scene with a look that is a little more edgy but still easy to wear for a night out. Not a makeup artist? Not to worry this look was easy to do with the help of a thin angled liner brush and a deep blue gel liner from British makeup line Barry M Cosmetics (hint: L’Oreal makes a great one as well that can be bought at Shopper’s.)

Our final look was inspired by Emma Watson (aka Hermione Granger)  in the new Burberry ads that have been popping up all over London (literally, the girl covers the entire outside of the Knighstbridge store.) We even added in my favourite new Burberry snood for authenticity. This look is one of the most dramatic but suprisingly also one of the easiest to create. Use one big, creamy, black eye pencil, line the entire outside of the eye, smudge, smudge, smudge, repeat. Then use another black waterproof eye pencil to line the inside of the lower and upper lashlines (tricky to do, but one of my favourite lash line thickening tricks.) Of course, finish with loads of mascara!

xx Lauren

Movie Making & TIFF! by hallaek
September 12, 2009, 2:20 pm
Filed under: Fashion

So I am auditioning to be MuchMusic’s New VJ 2.0 and in order to spice up my entry I made a video like many others did. It was a whole lot of fun, and I also got to snap a few pictures of the people I interviewed! My friend Holly was super patient as my bodyguard, assistant and cameraman, and on top of that I got a picture of her outfit too!

I’ve been talking to a lot of my girlfriends about this blog since I’ve asked so many of them if I could use them as my real girl models and every single one has asked me what they should wear. They all assume they need to show up in big names and cascading heels, so I’ll reiterate my point. So many blogs, though fabulous, are mini Vogues or InStyles. Lots of big names, lots of big shoes, and lots of girls with the “look”; I want your style and your look! We all look at what is “now” and see how we want to interpret it. We can’t all pull off the trends so we make them work for us; that’s what I’m looking for. So if your key look is quirky casual and you just love comfortable clothes and that’s what you feel most attractive in, that’s perfect!

When I was asking the 2 girls whose pictures I took after I interviewed them they were very shy and I immediately saw their posture cave in a bit, when I explained that I had been taking pictures of all my girlfriends and they took them for myself they warmed up a bit knowing that I was up there just like they were going to be. Maybe they were more comfortable because they knew we were in it together, or maybe because they saw that I was just a regular girl who enjoyed clothes. Not sure, but it was interesting none the less.

And I just had to snap the medieval duo. Just had to.

Then as if the day wasn’t big enough for me, that night my friend Lauren invite some of us to se a movie at the film festival that her cousin (extremely distant apparently) produced. It was a fun excuse to dress up and take some photos of course! Although I remember why I always tried to take pictures before the sun went down, red eye! Oh well, I hear red eyes are coming back, very hot for fall ’09…to match all the red lips, obviously. With a ticket for the movie we also received discounted entrance to the after party (hosted by Vivica A. Fox…NBD. But actually.) The after party started out kind of lame, but then the cast came and the 2 main actors in the film (and one of their wives) were nice enough to spend most of their time there with us which was a lot of fun! They were hilarious and great for keeping the creepers at bay! One of them was even nice enough to pose for the blog! A legendary day…first man on the blog!

Lauren will soon be adding beauty tips and articles to this blog! She is my wife, housemate, and personal make-up artist…doesn’t hurt that she is also a professional make-up artist and has worked events all over Toronto and is a freelance artist for Yves Saint Laurent make-up!

Forgotten Summer… by hallaek
September 10, 2009, 8:35 pm
Filed under: Fashion

So since I’m jumping on the blog band wagon a bit late I have…well a band wagon full of photos lying around. I’ll try to organize them from bottom to top (least recent to most) but we’ll see how my memory keeps up. I have my harajuku girls in some of these ones, since they were so nice to let me boss them around with a camera and Janice was super patient with my lame attempts at posing, but that’s what this blog is about! You’ll definitely be seeing in these photos that we certainly are not models, but we try our darndest and it’s really about our style anyways so yay for our boobs, bums and in Karen’s case height…or lack thereof. Thanks so much girls!

Bonjour! by Lauren Kerbel
September 10, 2009, 6:52 pm
Filed under: Beauty


Hello All You Beautiful People,

As promised, I have joined forces with my husband/housemate/partner in all mischief to bring you a new kind of style blog. Instead of seeing models with mohawks and black lipstick (but hey if you can pull that off then more power to ya!) we want to write about the amazing looks that our stylish friends put together and beauty trends that you can actually wear. This is where I come in. But let me formally introduce myself to you! I am a 20 year old university student currently splitting my time between Kingston, ON and Toronto. My makeup obsession began somewhere around the age of 3 with my mothers red Chanel lipsticks and has evolved over the years from disastrous first attempts at eyeshadow application, to electric blue eyeliner and matching mascara. My addiction has taken me through body glitter, stage makeup, a very brief “punk” stage and finally to makeup school last summer. I write to you now as a professional make-up artist, personally trained by Victoria Radford and a freelance artist for Yves St Laurent Beaute at Holt Renfrew.

I have been asked by Hallae to contribute to La Mode Au Naturelle as the site’s beauty expert and will be bringing you trend reports, beauty tips, product reviews and other odds and ends about all things bright and beautiful.


xx Lauren

I love fashion blogs. by hallaek
September 10, 2009, 6:16 pm
Filed under: Fashion

The best part about fashion blogs has to be being able to scroll through countless pictures of gorgeous people in even more gorgeous clothing. Fashion magazines are great, but often times I find that the chunks of pages that are nothing but beautiful models in exquisite clothing hard to concentrate on. I’m not sure if it’s the fact that I have to read the very tiny print to find out what anything is or because sometimes their pose or surroundings are just too unrealistic for me, but there is something that removes me from the whole thing. But fashion blogs! Ah! Thank goodness for them! Clear pictures taken in everyday life and seemingly on everyday people…are they everyday people?


Glamour magazine’s tiny little picture of a size 12 woman in no clothing incited reactions from everyone! The Sartorialist recently wrote about it and mentioned that when he asks to take pictures of women who don’t fit into the size 0-2 category they often turn him down since they’re worried about what may come of the pictures. I found that extremely interesting because when I saw that picture my first thought was ‘huh…there are hardly streams of pictures of well dressed women that fall into the “normal” category’ and then after reading about them turning down pictures, well it really got me thinking.

I certainly do not fall into the size 0-2 category. I do love to look at pictures of girls who do and how fabulously they dress (SeaofShoes, anyone? Oh my! Jane Aldridge knows what she is doing and then some!), but it often makes me feel like I can’t do the fashion thing because a lot of these looks would be pretty horrible on me. I have hips, thighs and oh yes, a bum. They’re great womanly, child bearing qualities, but in the fashion world they just won’t do. Then why do I still love fashion and spend hours “window shopping” online? Why do all my girlfriends with boobs and bums do the same? Well once you fall in love with fashion it is near impossible to fall out of it…so we make it our own.

A fashion blog for boobs, bums, hips, thighs, tummies, and shorties!

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