Fragrance Find | Still by Jennifer Lopez

  
NAME OF FRAGRANCE | Still by Jennifer Lopez
NOTES | Earl Grey Tea, White Pepper, Mandarin, Sake, Freesia, Rose, Jasmine, Orange Blossom, Lily of the Valley, Sandalwood, Musk, Amber, Orris, Pepper

VIBE | Soothing, Soft, Feminine, Sophisticated, Airy, Clean

Okay, okay. I know what you must be thinking. This is a celebrity fragrance so how can it really be taken seriously. Trust me though, this is a quality perfume and is like a fresh breath of spring air on a cloudy, wintry day. It’s not quite floral, not quite green, with a hint of warming spice that really ties the notes together and keeps the scent interesting. I’m a firm believer that beautiful fragrances can be found in all kinds of packages and that one shouldn’t count a scent out just because it happens to be endorsed by a pop star. Still could easily be an expensive designer fragrance and it radiates an aura of refined elegance and sophistication. 

Every aspect of it earns top points from me. The bottle is gorgeous. I love the way the name of the fragrance is printed on the back of the bottle so that it peers through the front, looking watery and ethereal as if we were peering at it through a pond in a tranquil Japanese garden. It’s adorned with a chunky silver ring with a huge rhinestone, and although it’s not something that I would wear, it looks lovely on the bottle. Much like the bottle, the juice itself is stunning. Still opens with a crisp, sparkling blend of white pepper, mandarin, earl grey tea, and sake. The top notes of the fragrance are my absolute favorite, and, luckily for me, they stay prominent throughout the entire experience. The heart is a understated, delicate bouquet of florals (my favorite flowers in fact), with rose, orange blossom, and lily of the valley taking centre stage. Dewy freesia and jasmine are also present but they are not as pronounced. They are really just accent flowers in this scent and add to the watery, fresh floral feel of the scent. As Still lingers on the skin, it dries down to a warm and spicy mix of sandalwood, amber, musk, pepper and orris. Even as the fragrance concludes, I feel as though I can still smell remnants of the earl grey tea and sake from the top. 

While the base notes are somewhat generic, they complement the rest of the fragrance. I love the way Still changes, smelling crisp and clean, delicately floral, and then sultry and spicy. Much like a jewel, it’s a multifaceted fragrance that reflects different moods depending on how long it’s been on the skin. It’s very unobtrusive, elegant, and pleasant. It’s soothing and reminds me of cherry blossom trees in the spring, lily pad laden ponds, and languid days spent meditating in a tranquil flower garden. It’s a gorgeous perfume that works great for night or day, work or play. It’s a real compliment getter and is very soft, making it a fantastic pick for the office. If you’re ready for spring time and/or are sick of the generic fruity/floral/dessert perfumes out there, this unique scent is definitely worth a spritz or two. 

xoxo,

Alicia

February Beauty Picks

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So, I have been trying my very best to cut back on my spending this month. Why? My boyfriend and I went to Jamaica last week and stayed at the Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall. It was an absolutely gorgeous and luxurious trip but it was all insanely expensive. Seriously. Beyonce and Jay-Z pricey. I don’t know who I thought I was. I’ll be paying off this trip for the next couple of months and so my favorite little indulgences have to be sacrificed for the time being. Goodbye $6 matcha lattes, sushi takeout, and perfume binges. That being said, my monthly subscription to Ipsy‘s Glam Bags is one treat that I will be keeping. For $14 a month I get five miniature beauty products from luxe brands like Tarte and Too Faced and that is simply too delightful to pass up. I honestly haven’t bought a tube of mascara in ages because they keep sending me different ones (and despite being samples, the sizes are pretty generous!). If you haven’t already signed up for a beauty subscription service like Ipsy (Birchbox is another good one), I highly recommend it! You get a lot for your money and it’s a fabulous way to try new products and colours that you normally wouldn’t have access to or think to buy. A lot of the products I have received have become favorites of mine and are ones that I will definitely repurchase when I run out. So without further ado, here are five products that I have absolutely fallen in love with this month.


 

1 // Trust Fund Beauty – Nail Polish in $12 Latte

Okay, so I have never in my life thought to buy a brown nail polish. I just thought it was a dull colour and I generally like my finger nails to be fresh, clean, and simple. I normally lean towards pale petal pinks, nudes, and french manis. When I received this in my Ipsy bag I was actually kind of disappointed because the deep brown/purple hue was such a departure from my signature style. I loved the cheeky name as someone who enjoys her overpriced coffee. After giving the colour a try I quickly changed my tune. It’s very dark, almost black, but seems to change subtly from deep coffee brown to dark purple depending on the light. It’s not at all goth and has a subtle sophistication that I love. I won’t wear it much longer – it’s too dark for summer. It’s the perfect moody shade for fall and provides a striking contrast against my silver rings.

2 //  Tarte – Amazonian Clay 12-hour Naughty Nudes Blush in Sensual

If your favorite bronzer and peachy blush had a baby, this would be it. It’s a beautiful shade that instantly warms up the complexion and lasts a crazy long time (12 hours is absolutely accurate). It’s great for the winter months and brightens up a pale visage. It also enhances my newly acquired Jamaica tan and looks beautiful against darker complexions.

3 //  The Balm Cosmetics – Meet Matt(e) Trimony Matte Eyeshadow Palette

I am kind of obsessed with this palette. I rarely wear colour on my lids and almost exclusively opt for play-it-safe neutrals but I can honestly say that I adore every single one of these shades and they work great for day and night. Each shade is named after a different Matt – i.e. Matt Lopez, Matt Reed, Matt Evans. My favorite colour is Matt Moskowitz. It’s a lovely dark purple that is subtle enough to work for every day while still providing a fresh pop of colour. I’ve been wearing it every day lately instead of my usual brown and taupe shades.

4 // NYX – Butter Lipstick in Ripe Berry

Creamy, moisturizing, highly pigmented, long-lasting – this HG of a lipstick seriously ticks every single one of my boxes. The satin finish is gorgeous and is a refreshing change from the over saturation of matte options out there. I honestly cannot get enough of the juicy colour which is reminiscent of raspberry wine. It’s very sultry without being super dark. I’ve been wearing it every day since I got it and I doubt I will be tucking it away anytime soon. Love. Love. Love.

5 //  Be Fine Food Skin Care – Gentle Face Cleanser

If any of you have read my other posts, you will know that skincare is one of my (many) obsessions. No amount of makeup can truly cover up unhealthy skin and so I make it the main focus of my beauty routine and I do my best to use quality products and a consistent regime. Whatever your skin type, I can pretty much guarantee that this lovely cleanser would be a happy addition to your own routine. This soothing cleanser whisks away all traces of makeup, oil, sweat, and gunk without leaving my face feeling parched. It also manages to remove my waterproof mascara without any problems – a difficult feat. True to its name, this nourishing cleanser is packed with vitamin-rich ingredients such as oat bran extract, wheat amino acids, and sugar cane. Sweet.

xoxo,

Alicia

Elevated Sleepy Essentials

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If you’re anything like me (and most people I know) you tend to forgo traditional pajamas and instead retire to the sack in an oversized t-shirt you’ve had since high school and a worn out pair of sweatpants or shorts. I currently own TWO sets of pajamas and they are less than glamorous (one set is made of fluffy zebra print fleece and the other is a Cat In The Hat printed onesie). There is nothing wrong with going to bed in something comfy – in fact, it’s a necessity. Lately, I’ve been watching a lot of old movies and I couldn’t help but notice that not one leading lady goes to bed looking like she just came back from the gym. They look just as lovely as they did when they were out to dinner, swathed in silk and wrapped in an elegant kimono. I just love the scene in ‘Breakfast at Tiffanys’ when Audrey Hepburn first meets George Peppard’s character and is wearing that ethereal white nightgown and fabulous turquoise sleep mask. She looked so effortlessly fabulous that it inspired me to invest in my own little collection of beautiful sleepwear. There will be plenty of times, no doubt, where I resort to wearing my saggy shorts and Beatles tee to bed, but I love the idea of going to bed feeling stylish and lovely even if it’s just for myself (and my boyfriend). Here are six sets that are currently on my sleepy time wish list.

1 // Roses Are Red – Sundays Are Forever Silk Sleepwear Set in Coral

This set is absolutely perfect for summer. The colour is gorgeous, the silk satin is luxe, and the silhouette is modern with just the right amount of sexiness. It’s just the thing I will want to wear come July when the temperature gets to 30 degrees and I can’t even have a blanket on my bed.

2 // Neiman Marcus – Monogrammed Silk Sleep Masks

I absolutely LOVE sleep masks. I am the type of person that needs total darkness to fall asleep. Even the tiniest bit of light creeping into my room will keep me awake. I love the feminine ruffle at the edge of this mask and the monogrammed initial seems like the kind of glamorous detail that Audrey Hepburn would have had on her sleep mask.

3 // Olivia Von Halle – Coco Plum Silk Pyjamas

It’s official: Olivia Von Halle has some seriously strong sleepwear game. Every one of her sleepwear sets is just gorgeous – almost too beautiful to wear to bed. I love this set because it feels so classic. The retro white piping provides a pretty contrast against the rich plum hue. Plus the airy silk fabric would be just as comfy as my cotton t-shirts, while still looking polished.

4 // Olivia Von Halle – Bella Silk Satin Pyjama Set

Oh look, another gem from Olivia Von Halle. I almost feel like you could wear this pajama set during the day, out in public, with a pair of sandals or mules. The matchy-matchy, head-to-toe, monochrome look is really on trend right now after all. I think the spaghetti straps and racerback are super sexy yet still comfy, something that negligees/lingerie in general never seems to be able to accomplish. And the raspberry hue? Perfection.

5 // Fleur of England – Mint Silk Pyjama Bottoms

As I have mentioned before, I have a weakness for sweet pastels and sorbet hues. This mint stripes are so pretty that I know I would be tempted to wear these out in public as well. Just beautiful.

6 // HVN – Cherry Print Silk Pyjama Set

I adore quirky prints and so this boxy set emblazoned with juicy looking cherries immediately stole my attention and my heart. Again, I love PJs that have a retro vibe, and the red piping gives these a 1950s feel that I simply adore. I can totally picture Rosemary Clooney wearing these while riding a train to Vermont in ‘White Christmas’. I love. I need. I will buy.

xoxo,

Alicia

healthy-snacks

My Favorite Healthy Snacks 

I wholeheartedly believe in eating healthy as consistently as possible (with a little room for my favorite indulgences – dirty martinis, pineapple and olive pizza, and cheese plates) and that treating one’s body right benefits every aspect of a person’s life. Since it’s the start of the new year, I feel even more motivated to keep my diet clean and work out more than I used to. While I mainly keep my meals healthy, I have found that one of the biggest diet-busting culprits is snacking. It’s easy to overindulge on decadent treats like chocolate, ice cream, and chips but it’s also easy to over do it on seemingly healthy nibbles like cheese and crackers and even nuts. That being said, snacking can (and should) be a part of a healthy diet, as long as it is done right with nutrient dense, low-calorie options. With this in mind, I have rounded up 7 of my favorite guilt-free snacks.

1 // Dried Seaweed

I don’t really have much of a sweet tooth and I can easily pass on the rich, calorie-laden desserts that make most other people weak in the knees. However, if you put a plate of cheesy nachos or salty fries in front of me, it’s game over. Dried seaweed manages to curb my salt craving without making me forego my healthy diet. It’s crispy, savory, and just as addicting as a pack of chips but with a small fraction of the calories. Rich in magnesium, potassium, selenium, and vitamin A, B, and C, dried seaweed packs a serious nutritional punch.

2 // Goji Berries

I decided to give goji berries a try after reading an interview with Australian supermodel Miranda Kerr in which she deemed the tart red superfood one of her go-to beautifying snacks. While no amount of antioxidant-rich berries will transform me into a Victoria Secret angel, I was intrigued to try them and see if they a) would make my skin glow and my hair bouncy and b) if they actually taste good. Well, guess what? They are actually pretty tasty, they keep me sated in between meals, and since I’ve started eating them regularly I do notice a healthier glow to my skin (but maybe that’s just wishful thinking). They are a bit tart, like dried cranberries but a little bit sweeter. Plus they are chock full of antioxidants, fiber, and beta-carotene. I keep this low-calorie, nutrient-high snack in my purse to nosh on at work and when I’m feeling a bit peckish.

3 // Popcorn with Olive Oil & Sea Salt

I’m obsessed with popcorn and it’s my favorite movie-time snack. It’s also surprisingly healthy – so long as you pop it yourself, either with an old-fashioned air popper or a healthy oil like coconut or olive oil. It’s low in calories (1 cup of air-popped popcorn has only 30 calories) and actually has a ton of antioxidants. I choose to skip the artery-clogging butter and instead drizzle mine with olive oil and add a sprinkle a bit of sea salt for an added dose of healthy fats and flavor.

4 // Edamame

My boyfriend loves edamame and is the one who got me hooked on them. Edamame has become a trendy food and its stellar reputation is well deserved. Edamame is a young soybean which has been harvested before it has had a chance to harden. These delightful green gems are low in calories, high in protein, and are packed with vitamins, protein, magnesium, and iron. They are also naturally free of cholesterol and gluten. I also love them because they are delicious and super easy to prepare. Simply steam them on the stove or pop them in the microwave in a bowl with a bit of water. They are delicious on their own but are even tastier with a bit of salt and cayenne pepper.

5 // Frozen Fruit

When I’m craving ice cream but don’t want to splurge, a bowl full of frozen fruit totally hits the spot. Sometimes I’ll blend the fruit in my food processor for a sorbet-like treat that feels like an indulgence but is completely healthy and free of added sugar. Pro-tip: if you are feeling creative, blend a couple of frozen bananas with a couple of spoonfuls of cocoa powder. Voila! Chocolate ‘ice cream’ that is full of vitamins and totally guilt-free.

6 // Plain Yogurt and Honey

I’ve always loved yogurt, but a lot of the flavored versions that are available in stores are way too sweet for my taste and are loaded with unnecessary junk like gelatin and processed sugar. Instead, I prefer to eat plain yogurt (greek yogurt is my favorite) with just a little bit of honey. Sometimes I will toss a couple of frozen blueberries on top for some extra sweetness and added vitamin C. It’s not too sweet but is very flavorful and fills me up without making me feel heavy or bloated. It makes a great breakfast or late snack and is filled with satiating protein and calcium.

7 // Veggies and Hummus

I have to say, I’ve never come across a vegetable that I didn’t love and I don’t need any dips, dressings, or seasonings to make me want to eat them. That being said, if you don’t love veggies, dipping them in garlicky hummus is sure to change your mind. I like to make my own with chickpeas, olive oil, garlic and a bit of salt. I’ve seen recipes with spinach and beets added and they look amazing as well. Hummus can be pretty calorie-dense but it has tons of nutrients. As long as you keep your portions under control, this is a completely diet-friendly, healthy, delicious snack for any time of day.

xoxo,

Alicia

January Beauty Picks

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A brand new year – that means it’s time to buy a whole new slew of beauty products right? There is nothing more invigorating than the first few weeks of January. Sure, it might be a cliche, but at the time of year it feels like the slate has been wiped clean and that all of the bad habits (excessive caffeine, not enough sleep, procrastination etc.) of the previous year are gone. It’s also a great time to refresh one’s beauty routine, whether it’s trying a new hairstyle or colour, switching up one’s daily makeup look, or adopting a more luxurious skincare regime. Right now my focus is on being healthy (eating clean and exercising regularly) and pampering my skin into perfection. I don’t plan on totally changing my look – I want to look like me. Only better. Behold, my five favorite beauty buys this month, all of which have been doing a great job keeping my strands soft and shiny, my skin clear and dewy, and my makeup on point.

1 // Fresh – Sugar Face Polish

My boyfriend got me this for Christmas (he’s a delight) and I am obsessed with it. It’s a multitasking hybrid between a scrub and mask with nourishing ingredients like grapeseed, macadamia, and strawberry seed oils, as well as skin softening brown sugar. Simply smooth it onto your damp, clean complexion, leave it on for ten minutes, and then gently slough off dead skin cells, dirt, and debris as you rinse it off. Voila, a glowing, balanced complexion.

2 // Revlon – Ultra HD Matte Lip Colour in Addiction

This has been my go-to lip colour for the past two months. It’s a gorgeous deep fuchsia hue that instantly brightens up my face even if I am wearing no other makeup. The matte finish is striking but doesn’t leave my lips parched the way other matte lipsticks or liquid colours do. This is a stunning colour for day and night and has become a mainstay in my makeup bag!

3 // LUSH – Daddy-O Shampoo

I recently dyed my hair balayage and bought this shampoo after my colourist recommended that I buy hydrating products to maintain my colour and minimize damage. After trying a couple of different shampoos, this one has become my favorite. I love that it is all natural with luxurious, hair-nourishing ingredients like seaweed, citrus juices, and rose and bergamot oil. It keeps my newly blonde tresses bright and fresh and my hair is even softer than before I coloured it. Plus it has a lovely violet scent – soft, powdery, and feminine.

4 // Nars – Blush in Angelika

I have to admit it – I have been cheating on my trusty bronzer with this awesome blush from Nars. While I love the warm, glowy look that a dusting of bronzer gives me, a soft wash of petal pink blush is so refreshing and looks so pretty against my much paler, winter complexion. Although this blush looks very bright in the compact, it looks natural and subtle on my skin. Pair this with a few coats of volumizing mascara and a slick of rosy lipstick for a flirty, flushed look that rivals that of Disney princesses. Dear bronzer, it has been swell but I think it’s time we took a break.

5 // Tarte – Maracuja Oil

A lot of people find facial oils to be intimidating. After all, oily skin is the enemy right? Never fear – this hydrating elixer, rich in fatty acids and vitamin C sinks in almost immediately, leaving the skin quenched, plump, and silky soft. Since I’ve been using it (morning and night under my moisturizer) my skin tone has become more even and smooth with a dewy glow and I find myself reaching for my concealer and highlighter less frequently. This is a pricey product but if you give it a try I think you will find that it is worth every single penny!

xoxo,

Alicia

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Peachy Keen

With the cold weather and abundance of holiday decorations and music everywhere, most people are dressing in winter hues – rich jewel tones, shimmering metallics, and dark, moody tones. I, however, have been leaning towards softer pastels and neutrals like grey and camel. With the weather being so dreary and dark, I feel the need to surround myself in a softer, more ethereal palette. Pretty peach and nude tones are not reserved for spring and can easily feel appropriate during the colder months. Peach works really well as a neutral and adds a bit of sunshine to an otherwise dark and pared down winter wardrobe. Plus it’s very flattering against all skin tones (there’s a peach for everyone, you just have to pick the right shade). When the ground is covered in frost and the sky is ominous and cloudy, pretty peach lightens things right up. Whether it’s a swipe of lipstick or a cozy apricot sweater, this fruity hue is exactly what I need during these gloomy, rainy days.   

PEACHY BUYS   
1 // Panacea – Druzy & Crystal Stretch Bracelets (Set of 2)

2 // 3.1 Phillip Lim – Quill Triangle Bag

3 // Charlotte Russe – Strappy Eyelash Lace Bralette 

4 // Tory Burch – Fox Fur Pom-Pom Key Chain 

5 // Dorothy Perkins – Peach Shirt Dress

6 // Kevin Aucoin – The Creamy Glow Duo

7 // Kenneth Jay Lane – Gold Plated Enamel Hoop Earrings

8 // Kitsch – Petal Peach Hair Ties 

xoxo,

Alicia

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Scent Saturday | Chanel Chance eau Fraîche 

COMPANY | Chanel

NAME OF FRAGRANCE | Chance eau Fraîche 

NOTES | Lemon, Cedar, Pink Pepper, Water Hyacinth, Jasmine, Teak Wood, Iris, Amber, Patchouli, Vetiver, White Musk

VIBE | Refreshing, Clean, Elegant, Androgynous, Sparkling

Although Chanel is my absolute favorite couture house and I think that both Coco Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld are geniuses in their own right, I haven’t always been crazy about Chanel perfumes. There are about a handful that I truly enjoy (Beige, Cristalle eau Verte, Coco Noir, and No. 18 are my favorites). Chanel Chance eau Fraîche, however, is an entirely different beast and it lacks any of the abstract florals or heavy aldehydes and spices that a lot of Chanel perfumes are overpowered by (Coco Mademoiselle and No.5, I am looking at you). I tried this perfume on out of curiousity when I was walking through Sephora as I realized it was one of the few Chanel perfumes I hadn’t tried. I expected to feel how I usually feel about Chanel fragrances – indifference at best, promptly scrubbing it off at worst. I was pleasantly surprised by the fragrance’s refreshing opening, lightly floral heart, and woodsy yet powdery dry down. At first spritz it actually smelled a bit like a men’s cologne before softening into a watery floral with crisp greenery and woods and just a touch of powdery iris. It’s bubbly and refreshing – if it were a cocktail it would be a French 75, with sharp gin, sparkly champagne, and bright lemon. It’s a flanker of Chanel Chance and it is definitely related to Chance eau Fraîche in terms of its notes. However, the original is sweeter, with a note of pineapple and a heavier dose of patchouli. I don’t hate the original, I just much prefer the refreshing, green scent of eau Fraîche. There is also another flanker, eau Tendre, which is in a similar bottle but with pink fluid as opposed to the golden juice of the original or pale green juice of eau Fraîche. It’s actually very nice as well and I may review it in the future. It’s softer and more overtly feminine with sweeter fruits to counter balance all of the patchouli that is signature to the Chance formula. Overall, out of the three versions Chance eau Fraîche is still my favorite. It’s the perfect scent for everyday and is uplifting and bright – just the thing to wake you up on an early Monday morning (it also has a subdued sophistication that is very appropriate for the office). It’s pleasant and not at all overpowering but it’s still interesting. It’s clean and subtle enough not to offend anyone but unique enough to garner compliments and the question “what are you wearing?”. Its not quite citrusy, not immediately woodsy, and it’s not green in the way that oak moss laden chypres are. It really is a bright fragrance that is best suited for the day time. It’s ideal for spring and summer but I find the woodsy elements of the scent make it perfectly fitting for fall and winter as well. While the florals do soften the scent, it could easily be unisex and a man could wear it just as well as a woman could. This is my favorite Chanel perfume of the moment and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves clean fragrances and green, woodsy notes.

xoxo,

Alicia