Designer Spotlight | Justine Brooks

Justine-Brooks_Jewelry

Photos via Justine Brooks

Blending international intrigue with familiar nature-inspired motifs, Justine Brooks has built a name for herself in Canada and around the world for her eponymous label which combines precious metals with raw stones and ultra-realistic shapes (think anatomically correct hearts, pine cones, cedar leaves and succulents). Justine launched her brand in 2005 after graduating from both the Emily Carr Institute Of Art & Design and Vancouver Community College’s Jewelry Art and Design Program. Beyond her love for design and jewelry, Justine is a passionate traveler and has explored the globe from top to bottom, visiting breathtaking places throughout Asia, the Middle East, Africa and more. In fact, this globe-trotter first fell in love with jewelry and design in 2005 while learning traditional jewelry-making techniques in India. This passion for travel is evident in Justine’s designs. Sometimes it’s a stone, sometime’s its a colour combination and sometimes its a shape or technique, but there is always an international feel to Justine’s designs and multiculturalism is woven into the core of her brand and her vision. I have loved her designs since I first discovered her pieces in Forsya (a lovely but now closed boutique that used to reside on Vancouver’s eclectic Main Street. You can still shop them online though!). I loved the way her pendant, earrings and charms resembled items found in nature in such a realistic way. Her itty-bitty silver pinecones and acorns looked just like the ones I would find while walking through Stanley Park. Her pieces have such a stunning simplicity to them and can be worn with anything – from weekend wear to a wedding dress. These are pieces that are meant to be worn and treasured, everyday. While it’s hard to pick favourites, scroll on to see 10 pieces that are on my wish list!

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

MY PICKS

1 // Tiny Cedar Earrings

2 // Rose Double Deer Antler Pendant

3 // Hammered Wave Ring

4 // Moonstone Charm Bracelet

5 // Tiny Pinecone Charm Necklace

6 // Fiddlehead Fern Necklace

7 // Anatomical Brain Pendant

8 // Wave & Sunshine Necklace

9 // Raw Opal Studs

10 // Moon + Star Opal Silver Ring

xoxo,

Alicia

Advertisements

Lavender Pear Almond Muffins

I love a good pumpkin muffin around fall, don’t get me wrong, but last week I decided to take a great muffin recipe and shake it up with other fall flavours instead! Pear is a subtle, but oh-so-delicious, flavour that pairs beautifully with the cherry-like aroma of toasted almonds and the herbaceous, floral flavour of lavender. These are absolutely delicious hot out of the oven and make a great on-the-go breakfast. Not to mention how sparkly and pretty they look with their crust of granulated sugar on the top. For a sweet fall treat that doesn’t centre around pumpkin or cinnamon, look no further!

Lavender-Pear-Almond-Muffins-Recipe

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 3/4 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Stick Butter
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1.5 Tsp Food Grade Lavender Essential Oil
  • 1Tbsp Honey
  • 1/2 Tsp Almond Extract
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Unsalted Almonds
  • 1 Can Pears (Chopped Into 1/4″ Pieces)

Lavender-Pear-Almond-Muffins-Recipe

DIRECTIONS

1 // Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line muffin tin with cupcake foils or grease with a bit of butter or cooking oil.

2 // Mix the dry ingredients together (apart from the sugar) in a large mixing bowl until well blended.

3 // In a medium sized bowl, used an electric mixer or fork to cream the butter, sugar, honey and extracts together until they have the consistency of fluffy snow.

4 // Add your eggs to the butter and sugar mixture and beat until light and creamy.

5 // Gradually your dry mixture to your creamed butter, eggs and sugar. Add your mix and mix with a spoon. The batter should be a little bit lumpy.

6 // Open your canned pears, drain them, and chop them into 1/4″ pieces. Mix them into your batter until they are evenly distributed.

7 // Scoop your batter into your muffin tin – each cup should be 3/4 full so they have enough space to rise while they are baking.

8 // Sprinkle the tops of your muffins with extra granulated sugar to create a delicious, sugary crust.

9 // Bake for approximately 30 minutes. Remove from the over, let them cool and enjoy!

These are truly the coziest fall treat and are the perfect accompaniment to a hot cup of coffee or fragrant mug of tea. A little butter really makes these flavours sing, so don’t be afraid to use the real thing (let’s face it, margarine never made anything better). Let me know what you think about this recipe! If you love lavender and like your desserts on the floral and not-too-sweet side, I have a feeling this will be a hit with you.

xoxo,

Alicia

Scent Saturday | Coco Mademoiselle Eau De Toilette By Chanel

COMPANY | Chanel

NAME OF FRAGRANCE | Coco Mademoiselle Eau De Toilette

NOTES | Sicilian Orange, Grapefruit, Bergamot, Litchi, Italian Jasmine, Rose, Patchouli, Tahitian Vetiver, Bourbon Vanilla, White Musk

It’s strange, but when I first smelled Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum a few years ago I was not a fan. I liked its initial citrusy burst but as is developed on my skin, it changed into a heavy, thick floriental that I did not appreciate. Cut to testing this Eau De Toilette version last fall and I fell madly in love. It’s zesty and bright with a sharpness that reminds me of men’s cologne. It’s my absolute favourite office fragrance (it makes me feel powerful and pulled together) and has become a signature scent for me.

If you, like me, don’t like the Eau De Parfum version of Coco Mademoiselle, don’t let that stop you from giving this a test. It’s much fresher with a barely there sweetness that makes it modern and sparkling. This spectacle opens with bright citruses (grapefruit, Sicilian orange and Bergamot) and it’s like a refreshing slap in the face. It really wakes me up in the morning but doesn’t smell like straight up lemon peel or a basket of oranges like other citrus scents do. After about 20 minutes the zingy top softens and the romantic floral heart reveals itself. Dreamy jasmine, opulent rose and juicy litchi dance together creating a well-blended accord that is feminine without being overly sweet or flowery. It’s the olfactory equivalent of a Chanel LBD – it’s classic yet sexy. It’s feminine and sensual but still powerful. Like I said, it’s my favourite office scent but it’s really perfect for any occasion.

What really saves this from being just another girly floral is the base. A heady combination of Tahitian vetiver, patchouli, bourbon vanilla and musk, it’s a dusky accord reminiscent of cigar smoke filled lounges, leather and aged wood. It’s subtle but it makes the scent the sexy oriental it is. If you’re on the hunt for an everyday perfume that is sexy and fresh with a masculine edge, this is one you will love.

xoxo,

Alicia

DIY Exfoliating Pumpkin Face Mask

Face masks are truly one of my favourite indulgences. While there are a bunch of masks I love (especially LUSH’s Oatifix and Sand & Sky’s Australian Pink Clay Mask), it is fun, and cost-effective, to make your own. This fall-inspired formula is one of my favourite recipes. With enzyme-rich pumpkin purée to exfoliate, yogurt and oatmeal to soothe, honey to moisturize and lavender to clarify, it leaves my skin silky and noticeably brighter. Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself! You will be hooked.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Tbsp Pumpkin Purée
  • 2 Tbsp Organic Plain Yogurt
  • 1/2 Tsp Vanilla Absolute
  • 1 Tsp Liquid Honey
  • 1 Tbsp Oatmeal
  • 1/2 Tsp Lavender Essential Oil
  • liquid-honey-Face-Mask pumpkin-purée-Face-Mask-diydoterra-Lavender-Essential-Oil-Face-Mask
  • DIRECTIONS

    1 // Measure out your ingredients and add them to a bowl.

    2 // Mix well until the mask is a smooth, easy-to-spread paste. If it’s too thick, add a little bit more yogurt and pumpkin purée. If it’s too runny, add more oatmeal. Easy-peasy.

    3 // Spread a thin layer over your face and leave it on for 15 minutes.

    4 // Wash the mask off and admire your smooth and silky face! Dab on a bit of your favorite moisturizer to lock in some hydration.

    And voila! This is a super easy-to-make mask and it’s incredibly nourishing and exfoliating. It also smells ah-maaazing. Give it a try and then immediately report back on how much you love it (or hate it, but I doubt it).

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    October Beauty Picks

    When you lead a busy life, it is easy to forget to take time for self-care. Although it may seem frivolous, a little luxury goes a long way in terms of improving the quality of your life and adding a little magic into an otherwise mundane day. Right now I am reaching for products that are not only effective, but are fun to use. From luxe textures and playful packaging to delicious smells, all of these five products are a pleasure to use while creating real results. Because, like in life, your beauty routine should be a happy mix of work and play!

    This slideshow requires JavaScript.

    1 // C.O. Bigelow – Rose Salve

    This lightly scented salve hydrates with luxe rose extract and deeply moisturizing squalene and jojoba oil. It also leaves a flush of colour that will make your pout look full and pink – like you’ve just been kissed!

    2 // Bath & Bodyworks- Stress Relief Hand Cream

    I can’t get enough of this refreshing blend of zingy eucalyptus and spicy spearmint. I have two bottles of this at all times – on my desk at work and in my purse. I love that it subtly scents my skin while soothing my dry hands with vitamin E and shea butter. Putting it on honestly feels like a little spa ritual.

    3 // City Color Cosmetics – Glow Pro Stellar Highlighting Palette

    Although these highlighters appear to be richly pigmented, each leaves a different kind of shimmering effect on the skin, from dewy to a holographic glow. My favourite shade is Nebula – an icy blue that I dust on the bridge of my nose, tops of my cheeks, brow bones and on my cupid’s bow. It blends into my skin seamlessly and makes my complexion look like that of a sexy alien.

    4 // LUSH – Bûche De Noël Face & Body Cleanser

    I adore LUSH products. They’re high quality, they smell amazing, and they are made with ethical and sustainable practices – what’s not to love? This holiday favourite is no exception. Formulated with face brightening mandarins, antioxidant-packed cranberries, scrubby ground almonds, cleansing kaolin and hydrating cocoa butter, this elixir is a treat to use and leaves my skin soft and glowing. It also smells like a spicy slice of Christmas Cake. Think of it as a confection for your complexion!

    5 // Wander Beauty – Lift Off Purifying & Brightening Peel Off Mask

    A more insta-worthy mask never existed. Not only does this shimmering fuchsia mask look gorgeous on, after 15 minutes your skin will look even more stunning! It’s chock full of yummy, skin-beautifying ingredients such as açai, goji and blueberries, plus antioxidant-rich green tea. Simply apply a thin layer, snap a few pictures and then peel off a while later to reveal brighter, healthier skin.

    Which beauty products are you obsessed with right now? I am always looking for new ideas so let me know in the comments!

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    Autumn Candles To Give You All The Cozy Feels

    Scent style your space with sumptuous fall fragrances that will make your inner basic squee with glee! I’m a huge candle addict. I’m currently sitting in my living room which contains no less than 13 candles. Do I have a problem? Forget switching up your wardrobe from season to season. I like to switch up my candles. Fall calls for warm and cozy scents like baked apples, smoky woods and sweet spices. And maybe a touch of whiskey if you’re feeling saucy. Read on for a rundown of my favorite fall candles. You’re bound to find at least one (or six) that tickle your fancy.


    1 // Bath & Bodyworks – Balsam 3-Wick Candle

    Notes: Pine, Cedarwood, Eucalyptus

    This smells like a crisp walk in the woods on a sunny day. Balsam smells exactly (and I do mean exactly) like the needles of a Christmas tree mixed with cool morning air. As a Pacific-northwest dwelling gal, there’s nothing more comforting than the spicy-fresh smell of a coniferous forest.

    2 // Diptyque – Thé Candle

    Notes: Bergamot, Coriander, Thyme, Sage

    This gorgeous candle is the olfactory equivalent of a steaming hot cup of fragrant black tea. Spicy and herbal with just a touch of sweetness, it’s as comforting as your favourite brew.

    3 // Byredo – Peyote Poem

    Notes: Clove Bud, Juniper Berries, Fir, Hyacinth, Tonka Bean, Black Amber, Patchouli, Vanilla

    As if we needed any more proof that Byredo is the bougie candle boss, this stunning blend is everything you could want in a fall candle and more. It’s sweet with notes of tonka bean and vanilla with a touch of forest-inspired greenness and bakery spices. Light it and enjoy being wrapped in a blanket of cuddly autumn deliciousness.

    4 // Whiskey Wicks – Apple Pickin’ Wood Wick Candle

    Notes: Apples, Spice

    I mean, it’s impossible to go wrong with the smell of just-baked apples and cinnamon. It smells like home, pie and comfort. It’s not basic, it’s beautifully classic and is a must-have as soon as the leaves start to change! This handmade gem lasts for ages so your home can smell like a spicy apple tart through until December.

    5 // Bath & Bodyworks – Maple Cinnamon Pancakes

    Notes: Nutmeg, Maple, Buttermilk Pancake Accord

    There’s quite frankly nothing more decadent than a late-morning breakfast of sumptuous buttermilk pancakes smothered in sticky maple syrup. This fall-addition from Bath & Bodyworks captures the essence of your favourite breakfast treat and leaves your home smelling warm, sweet and delicious!

    6 // Makers Of Wax Goods – Bourbon Candle

    Notes: Oaked Bourbon, Brandied Fruit, Raisins, Smoked Spices, Amber, Woods

    Light this bad boy and you’ll feel like a badass detective in a black and white movie, smoking a luxury cigar while sitting in a leather armchair and sipping a glass of top-shelf bourbon. This smoky, woodsy aroma is unique and sultry. It’s utterly intoxicating and always puts me in the mood. Plus how cool is the outer design?

    See? There are other fall smells besides pumpkin spice! Which one of these appeals to you the most?

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    Designer Spotlight | Vestige Story

    Photos via Vestige Story

    If minimalist silhouettes, rustic fabrics and earthy colours are your go-to, then Vestige Story is sure to become one of your favourite indie labels! This Vancouver-based brand was created by Aileen Lee in 2015 with the aim of offering simple, easy-to-wear pieces with subtle yet unique details. Sustainability, craftsmanship and a deep appreciation for timeless quality are at the heart of this brand. The best part? Everything is made locally, in Vancouver B.C. using minimal waste techniques! Most of their pieces are made with natural fabrics and some of the fabrics are even crafted out of recycled materials like water bottles. Specifically designed for the creative individual – the sculptures, artists, crafters, designers of the world – these pieces are flowy and comfortable. They breathe and move with the wearer. Season-less. Timeless. Made for makers. They let the wearer steal the show. As somewhat of a fabric snob, I immediately fell in love with their beautiful textures and insane attention to detail. Scroll on to see my top ten favourites from their latest collection!

    This slideshow requires JavaScript.

    MY PICKS

    1 // Washi Blouse in Mustard

    2 // Saya Culottes in Navy

    3 // Bushi Jumpsuit in Rust

    4 // Milieu Double Weave Jumpsuit

    5 // Ashura Dress in Navy

    6 // Dahlia Coat in Tan

    7 // Kana Coat in Gold

    8 // Kensho Coat in Navy

    9 // Earthen Sweater in Earth

    10 // Priori Top in Cream

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    5 Red Lipsticks for Under $15 To Help You Channel Your Inner Old-Hollywood Siren

    Is there anything more glamorous or bold that a red lip? It’s the beauty go-to of effortlessly stylish French women, retro Hollywood starlets and film noir femme fatales. Not everybody feels comfortable rocking a scarlet pout, but after a few tries, I have a feeling even the most sceptical will become believers. Even if I’m not wearing a stitch of makeup, I put on a swipe of red lipstick. It instantly makes one look put together and it brightens up the face like nothing else. Despite the notion that makeup needs to be expensive and from Sephora to be high-quality, these five lipsticks rival even the most coveted brands in terms of look, feel, and longevity. The best part? They retail for less than $15. Because beauty shouldn’t bring you to bankruptcy.


    1 // Maybelline – Superstay Long-Lasting Matte Liquid Lipstick in Pioneer

    I say this in the most complimentary way possible – I am not convinced that this stuff can’t be used as furniture varnish. It goes on as a glossy liquid (that smells like vanilla) and then dries to a plush matte finish. It’s not too drying, which I love, and it lasts forever. I truly have to scrub vigorously at the end of the day to get it off, which some may consider to be a negative, but I love that I hardly ever have to reapply. It’s also totally kiss, meal and nap-proof. I’ve done the leg-work.

    2 // L’Oréal Paris – Colour Riche Matte Lipstick in Blake’s Red

    As further proof that Blake Lively has the best style ever and can do no wrong, this sensual red is the most flattering shade I own. It’s subtle blue undertones make my skin glow and my teeth look whiter (a helpful tip – blue undertones equals a much brighter smile). It’s also very hydrating. I wear it anytime with anything. It’s classic and works for the office but also has a glamorous retro feel that is perfect for night.

    3 // ColourPop – Disney Designer Collection Crème Lux Lipstick in Snow White

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Snow White is my favourite princess. She’s just such an ultra-feminine babe with the best style – case in point, her penchant for a ruby red pout. So obviously when I saw this lipstick from ColourPop’s Disney Designer Collection, I had to press ‘add to cart’. It’s a deep crimson with a barely there sheen that isn’t glossy but adds a dimension that matte lipsticks can’t achieve. ColourPop, as usual, knocks it out of the park with this lipstick. It’s highly pigmented and doesn’t fade for hours on end. Just as magical as Snow White.

    4 // Maybelline – Colour Sensational Lipstick in Are You Red-dy?

    This stuff is so hydrating you would think it was a lip balm. It also smells delish – kind of like buttercream icing. I love this garnet-like hue and the glossy finish. It has dark blue undertones which I love because some red lipsticks are far too orange for my skin tone. My only critique – it’s so moisturizing and glossy that it tends to bleed a bit. Make sure to use a mirror when you apply and blot to avoid a makeout mouth.

    5 // Revlon – Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor Moisturizing Lipstick in Romance

    Lightweight yet richly pigmented, this wax-free formula goes on like a sheer, airy veil and dries to a velvety finish that makes my lips look lush and full. In terms of longevity, it’s kind of average but it is very moisturizing. This bright red hue is ultra-glamorous with a coquettish old-Hollywood feel that I simply adore.

    Are you a fan of red lipstick? Which one is your go-to?

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    The Perfect Vegetarian Power Salad That Will Actually Fill You Up

    I eat a pretty healthy diet in general, but lately I’ve been trying to clean up my diet even more. As a vegetarian, I eat a ton of nutrient-rich veggies and fiber-filled grains. On the other side of the coin, I also eat too many starchy carbs like beans and lentils. Don’t get me wrong, these foods have a ton of health benefits, but considering they make up a huge part of my diet and with all the talk about how we should be eating fewer carbs, I wanted to replace the starch with a few more leafy salads. The problem is, 9 times out of 10, I am left unsatisfied and bored after eating a salad and find myself hungry and reaching for salty, carb-filled snacks not long after. After a little bit of trial and error, I realized the key elements of a satiating salad: protein, fiber, fat and a variety of textures. This delicious salad is packed full or protein-rich tofu, calcium-filled feta, fibrous asparagus and a plethora of flavours and textures. It’s also super quick to prepare and can be made in large batches, making it an awesome option for Sunday meal prep. It’s low-carb as well, so it’s perfect for those on the keto diet. Say goodbye to dullsville piles of leaves and hello to flavour and healthy fats and plant-based protein.

    INGREDIENTS

    Salad

      1/2 Block Of Extra Firm Tofu
      1 Cup Of Mixed Greens (I like a mix of kale, spinach and arugula.)
      1-2 Tbsp Of Crumbled Feta Cheese
      1/2 Cubed Avocado
      1 Cup Chopped Asparagus
      1 Handful Of Chopped Cilantro
  • Dressing

    • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
    • 1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
    • 1 Tbsp Lime Or Lemon Juice
    • 1 Tsp Minced Ginger
    • 1 Tsp Sea Salt
    • Herbs To Taste (I like oregano and rosemary.)

    DIRECTIONS

    1 // Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Celsius.

    2 // Mix all of the dressing ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl with a whisk. Set aside.

    3 // Chop the vegetables (apart from the asparagus) and toss in a bowl.

    4 // Drain the liquid from the tofu package and chop the tofu into bite sized pieces. Sauté with olive oil, salt and pepper until golden brown (approximately five minutes).

    5 // Cut the bottom end off of all of the asparagus and place on a baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until tender.

    6 // Once cool, add the asparagus and tofu to the rest of the salad and toss while slowly adding the dressing.

    7 // Garnish with extra cilantro and a squeeze of lime. Serve and enjoy!

    Enjoy your healthy and delicious salad! I promise you won’t be hungry in half an hour. Try it and let me know what you think!

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    A Bite Of A Poison Apple

    Ruby red lips, waist-cinching tea dresses, a cute little bob adorned with a silk bow – Snow White may have been the fairest of them all but she also had style more wicked than the queen who sought out to have her killed. Lately a matte painted lip has been my go-to beauty look, inspired by sweet miss Snow White. Take it from me, there is NOTHING that will make you look more glamorous or put together, even if you are rocking second day hair and a sweater with bleach stains like I am today. Lush velvet, intricate brocade, ornate embroidery and oh-so-delicate lace – these are the staples of fairy-tale fashion. Need a few examples? Scroll on for elegant ensembles that would make Snow White herself swoon and Prince Charming want more than a kiss.

    This slideshow requires JavaScript.

    1 // Dynamite – Off-The-Shoulder Crop Top in Snow White

    2 // NARS – Semi-Matte Lipstick in Jungle Red

    3 // Alexander McQueen – Gothic Fairytale Mini Skirt

    4 // R&M Richards – Nightway Sparkle-Embellished Tulle Gown

    5 // Stella + Ruby – Rose Drop Earrings

    6 // Masscob – Floral Brocade Trousers

    7 // Xerjoff – Alexandria li Eau De Parfumerie

    8 // Kemekiss – Mary-Jane Pumps in Red Suede

    9 // St. Xavier – Damask Velvet Clutch

    10 // Macy’s – Lab-Created Ruby & White Sapphire Sterling Silver Ring

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    Scent Saturday | Ayalitta By Ayala Moriel

    COMPANY | Ayala Moriel Parfums

    NAME OF FRAGRANCE | Ayalitta

    NOTES | Galbanum, Sage, Neroli, Jasmine, Rose, Clary Sage, Patchouli, Oakmoss, Labdanum

    Soft and earthy with a delicate innocence, Ayalitta was the first perfume by indie perfumer Ayala Moriel I ever owned, and to this day, is one my all time favourites. I have always had a soft spot for chypres, a fact that surprised Ayala when I first met her. I was seventeen at the time and I think she expected me to prefer sugary gourmands or saccharine fruity-florals like most young girls do (no judgements towards those who love sweet scents – there are a few that I enjoy too!). After learning that I loved earthy, green fragrances, Ayala so kindly gifted me with a bottle of Ayalitta. Not to be cliché, but it truly was love at first sniff. It’s everything I love in a perfume. It’s soft yet enchanting. It creates an impression that is at once familiar yet totally unusual. I could bathe in Ayalitta’s elegant composition of earthy oakmoss, sweet neroli and intoxicating galbanum.

    Like a playful woodland pixie, Ayalitta lightly traipses onto the scene with notes that evoke images of a damp forest floor, strewn with sweetly smelling fallen leaves. Galbanum, sage and neroli create this impression, immediately revealing Ayalitta as a stunning chypre. There’s something about the opening of this scent that almost smells aldehydic, reminding me briefly of other iconic perfumes like Chanel Nº 19 or Oscar by Oscar De La Renta. That being said, because Ayalitta is comprised only of all natural essences, there’s nothing about it that smells heavy or artificial. It’s got a vintage quality but still smells current.

    The heart of Ayalitta is when it really begins to bloom into something breathtaking – no pun intended. Opulent rose dances with the rich, almost carnal aroma of jasmine before collapsing on a soft bed of clary sage. It reminds me of sunbaked earth and wet wildflowers, soaked by autumn rain. It smells comforting and it soothes me when I’m having a stressful day. It recreates the feeling I get when I’m in nature – sometimes just a sniff of the bottle is enough to lift up my spirits when I’m feeling down. Ayala was right on the money when she picked this scent for me. There are a lot of perfumes I love from her collection, but there’s something truly special about Ayalitta.

    Like the saying goes, all good things must come to an end, and Ayalitta does so beautifully. Oakmoss, labdanum, and patchouli are all that’s left on the skin at the fragrance’s conclusion. Patchouli has a soil-like scent that pairs perfectly with damp, green oakmoss before fading into the sweet, slightly spicy scent of labdanum. From start to finish, Ayalitta is a magical experience. It’s sensual and soothing. It’s honestly perfect for any season, but there is something about its fresh green notes and earthiness that feels especially at home in the fall. I’m wearing it right now and am cocooned in a beautiful blanket of delicate flowers and dewy leaves. Like all things of quality and beauty, Ayalitta just gets better with time.

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    September Beauty Picks

    There is something in the air in September. More so than January, September feels like a fresh start. A chance to revamp our wardrobes, touch up our beauty routines and work on accomplishing all of those ‘new year, new me’ goals before the year is over. I especially love to overhaul my skincare arsenal during this time of year. After all, the foundation of any beauty routine truly is supple, lit-from-within skin. From a juicy mask that replenishes my sun-parched skin to a rich night cream that stimulates collagen and cell renewal, these are the items that are helping me maintain my healthy complexion from summer through fall and winter. Ready, set, glow.

    This slideshow requires JavaScript.

    1// Caudalie – Resveratrol [Lift] Night Infusion Cream

    I’ve recently introduced night creams into my routine with the hopes of keeping my skin healthy and youthful for as long as possible. I’m 24 years old but prevention is better than intervention! Caudalie is one of my favourite French brands, thanks to their consistent use of grapeseed oil and resveratrol – the same antioxidant found in grapes and wine (aka the nectar of the Gods). This luxurious formula is a best-seller and for good reason. It goes on rich but sinks in immediately, hydrating without leaving a greasy or sticky film. After putting this on, I woke up to a fresh face that truly looked brighter and more even. It’s a little pricey but, considering I saw results so quickly, I think its totally worth it.

    2 // Colour Pop – Ultra Satin Lip Colour in The Rabbit

    My favourite beauty look this fall is a bare (yet even) complexion with minimal eye makeup and a juicy, vibrant pout. This fuchsia hue has blue undertones that completely flatter my ivory skin tone while bringing it to life. I also love that it goes on liquid and dries to a plush, velvety matte that lasts for ages.

    3 // Cake – Heavy Cream Buttery Sugar Body Balm Scrub

    Polish away dead skin cells with this decadent concoction from Canadian brand Cake Beauty. Chock full of skin-loving ingredients such as shea butter, aloe, and vitamin E, this ultra-hydrating scrub deeply nourishes skin, leaving it as soft as silk instantly. It also smells just like freshly baked French vanilla cake with just a drizzle of caramel.

    4 // Fresh Beauty – Limited-Edition Sugar Peach Hydrating Lip Balm

    Banish chapped lips and leave a pretty peachy tint with this sweetly scented balm. It has a light but creamy texture that feels oh-so luxe. It’s also incredibly moisturizing with ingredients like grapeseed oil and vitamin E. Kissable lips that taste like peaches and cream in 3..2..1.

    5 // LAB For You – Juice Up BlackBerry Mask

    The key to a dewy complexion? Hydration, hydration, hydration. This antioxidant packed sheet mask deeply penetrates the skin, delivering juicy blackberry extracts right where you need it most. Not only is this mask a total moisture bomb, but it also evens out one’s complexion when used over time. Whether it’s mask Monday or a lazy Friday night, you’ll want to slap one of these bad boy on your face a few times a week.

    What beauty products have you been falling in love with lately? Let’s chat in the comments xo.

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    Homemade Strawberry Ice-cream

    As we are getting into fall, you would think I would be craving cozy meals like soup, stew or chili. While I love a comfort meal on a brisk autumn day, ice-cream is season-less and this strawberry ice-cream has my mouth watering whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner. Here’s how to make it!

    YOU’LL NEED

    INGREDIENTS

    • 2 Cups Of Cream
    • 2 Cups Of Whole Milk
    • 1.5 Cups Of Sugar
    • 1 Package Of Strawberries
    • 1.5 Teaspoon Of Vanilla
    • Drop Or Two Of Red Food Colouring (Optional)

    DIRECTIONS

    1 // First things first, cut off the stems of your berries and chop them up into small cubes (approx. 1/4 inch pieces). They don’t have to be exact, just small enough so that they are easily mashed and don’t appear as giant chunks in your ice-cream.

    2 // Use a fork or potato masher to mash your berries into a jam-like consistency. They should be soupy so that the strawberry juice is able to effectively flavour your milk and cream.

    3 // Measure out your milk and cream into a large bowl and add your strawberries to the mixture. Whisk until the berries are completely incorporated into the base of your ice-cream.

    4 // Add the sugar, food colouring and vanilla to your ice-cream mixture and whisk for four minutes or until completely blended. The milk should be a little bit frothy at this point. For those who are weary of sugar, feel free to experiment with other natural sweeteners. The flavour won’t be exactly the same, but the strawberries and vanilla really are the stars of the show, so don’t be afraid to play and adjust the sweetness to your taste. I just find that the cup and a half of sugar really make the flavour of the berries pop.

    5 // Pour your ice-cream mixture into your machine and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

    6 // Once frozen, either serve or store in an airtight container if you would prefer your ice-cream to have a firmer consistency. It has a soft-serve texture when it’s fresh out of the ice-cream machine. Freezing it for a few more hours (or better yet, over night) gives it a texture that is more like the traditional ice-cream we are all used to.

    7 // Enjoy! It has a fresh berry flavour that is a little more tart than store-bought versions. It pairs well with a touch of coconut whipped cream, berry compote, chocolate syrup and/or desiccated coconut.

    Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think!

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    Fall Fashion Favourites

    Ahh, autumn. The coziest, chicest time of year for fashion. There is nothing that delights me more than trading up my shorts, tees and sundresses for blanket scarves, floppy felt hats and boots galore. While the weather is still a touch too toasty for all my favourite seasonal staples, cooler days are approaching fast. Get ready for brisk autumn days with this capsule wardrobe. Menswear inspired tailored pieces. Rich jewel tones and earthy neutrals. Cuddly knitted pieces. These items capture all of my favorite fall trends!

    This slideshow requires JavaScript.

    1 // BB Dakota – Jack By Say Anything Sweater

    Is there anything better than curling up in a chunky sweater with a spicy latte in hand? I think not. This rich pumpkin hue screams fall as well!

    2 // P.A.R.O.S.H. – Rioyshoe Bass Boots

    Practical yet pretty, these utilitarian boots are effortlessly chic with a military vibe that is just the right amount of edgy. Plus they are sooo comfy.

    3 // Dorfman Pacific – Autumn Leaf Felt Hat

    I’m a hat girl through and through (there is nothing better for covering up Kramer-esque bed head). Splattered with the colours of fall leaves, this Indiana Jones inspired style will lend a boho babe flavour to any outfit.

    4 // Out From Under – Autumn Striped Sweater Bodysuit

    Slip this cozy number on for a perfect fit with your favourite skirt or pair of trousers. The chunky stripes and earthy palette have a 70s flair that is on-trend without being over the top. You’ll want to wear this with everything!

    5 // Vero Moda – Silje Windowpane Jumpsuit

    One and done – my favourite way to get dressed! This subtle windowpane print is an elegant way to wear plaid. This figure flattering jumpsuit is a little more ladies who lunch than lumberjack and will take you from brunch to the boardroom with ease.

    6 // Vince Camuto – Plaid Tie-Waist Pencil Skirt

    Forget the stuffy librarian-approved pencil skirts of books and movies! A high waist and feminine tie adds a girly sweetness that freshens up this prim and proper style. Pair with pumps for an elegant occasion or with studded flats for a British punk-inspired edge.

    7 // Helmut Lang – High-Rise Wool Twill Pants in Autumn

    Are supermodel long legs on your wish list? While these gorgeous trousers can’t alter your genetics, they will create the illusion of mile long gams thanks to the ultra high waist and wide leg style. This camel hue is also incredibly versatile and can be worn in your rotation through fall and winter and well into spring. It’s one of those classics your mama told you to invest in. She was right.

    8 // Clare Vivier – Simple Tote in Army Suede with Navy, Marigold & Red

    Stash all your stuff in this roomy tote reminiscent of an Ivy-league book bag. The colourful stripes add a collegiate flare that I love and the buttery soft suede is simply too luxe to say no to. It’s simple, stylish and perfect for everyday. It’s got everything that I love about Clare Vivier’s bags. It’s timeless with that quirky je ne sais quoi that makes it stand out from the pack. The perfect blend of preppy, pretty and practical!

    Which piece is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    Edwardian-jewelry-romance-editorial-moodboard

    Romance In 1912

    Stolen kisses under a weeping willow. Gloved hands clasped tightly while going for a midday stroll. Picnics spent laughing by the river, wrapped in each other’s arms. Fervent passion and love restrained literally and figuratively by tight corsets and the modesty of the time. There is something about vintage romance, the idea of falling in love a century ago, that has always captured my imagination. Why? I don’t know. Were we less cynical about love back then? When dating apps, ghosting, and cat-fishing weren’t even phrases let alone everyday realities? Or maybe I’m just looking at the past through a rosy veneer cast by Hollywood movies and romance novels. It’s also very possible that I’m a cliche who wants to be swept off my feet while wearing a pretty dress and gloves. Either way, I’ve rounded up a selection of photos, clothing and accessories that pretty much capture my Elizabeth Bennett meets Rose Du Witt Bukater-esque mood. So much lace. So much love.

    This slideshow requires JavaScript.

    1 // LONNA & LILLY – Enchanted Lace Stud Earrings

    2 // Le Chateau – Lace Illusion Dress

    3 // Tome – Leaf Print Edwardian Skirt

    4 // TheRealReal – Platinum & 18K Edwardian Diamond Brooch

    5 // Tibi – Cropped Edwardian Rib Knit Top

    6 // Lilly Sarti – Velvet Trousers

    7 // Liveinu – Vintage Beaded & Sequined Evening Clutch

    8 // Lovestitch – Vintage Inspired Clutch

    9 // Miu Miu – Vintage Suede Loafer Mules

    10 // Eugenia Kim – Georgina Wool Fedora Hat with Panne Velvet Trim

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    July-beauty-picks-shallow-and-materialistic

    July Beauty Picks

    2018-july-beauty-picks

    This summer my beauty routine has been all about clear, hydrated skin, punchy lip colours, and SPF, SPF, SPF! Keep scrolling to see which skincare item banished my breakouts, and which makeup product I can’t stop pulling out of my makeup bag. Beach goddess beauty essentials in 5, 4, 3, 2………

    This slideshow requires JavaScript.

    1 // Doucce – Luscious Lip Stain in Passion Peach

    Light and airy, this highly pigmented stain feels like absolutely nothing on my lips and lasts forever. Seriously. It withstands through my first and second cup of coffee, my breakfast and lunch (with a few kisses from my boyfriend here and there) without needing to be reapplied. It’s a touch drying, but a swipe of lip balm is all that’s needed to remedy this minor flaw. Although Doucce carries a tons of gorgeous shades, I particularly love this face brightening hue – a mix of juicy peach and vibrant coral.

    2 // Nomads Essentials – High Intensity Face Creme

    Some people love essential oils in their skin care, others hate them for a variety of different reasons. Personally, I find that certain oils – witch hazel, tea tree, lavender and neroli – do wonders for the clarity of my complexion. I have been suffering from breakouts on my chin and cheeks for the past couple of months and the introduction of this facial cream, which is packed with beneficial oils like frankincense, rose geranium, lavender, and rose, has completely cleared up my skin. Like I have nary a blemish on my deeply hydrated, silky smooth face. It also smells lovely, like the herbaceous, soothing smell of a spa. It’s all made by hand by a lovely woman on Mayne Island (I’ve met her a bunch of times and she couldn’t be more knowledgable or wonderful) using all natural ingredients. While nothing beats visiting her adorable boutique on Mayne, her online store carries all of her fabulous skin, hair and home products.

    3 // La Roche-Posay – Anthelios Ultra Light SPF 60 Oil Free Sunscreen

    For years I hated putting sunscreen on my face and would avoid it like the plague. So many formulations are thick and greasy, leaving a shiny film on my face. Now as a (slightly) wiser woman in my mid-twenties, I know the importance of wearing an SPF every day. From preventing wrinkles and sunburns to warding off skin cancer, it’s frankly a non-negotiable. Luckily, I found this uber-light formula by La Roche-Posay. It goes on milky without any scent and it absorbs instantly. It’s also a fabulous base for makeup. It’s a little pricier than your average Banana Boat SPF, but it’s totally worth it. Your skin will thank you today and tomorrow.

    4 // City Color Cosmetics – Glow Duo

    I’m as ivory-skinned as they come and I’ve completely given up on the idea of ever obtaining a natural tan (aside from not wanting to suffer the effects of sun damage). That’s why bronzers and highlighters are regular components of my beauty routine. This nifty little duo contains a silky bronzer that mimics a natural sun-kissed glow, as well as a hydrating highlighter that makes you look lit from within. A light dusting of the bronzer with a touch of highlighter on your high points will make you look like a beach babe instantly, without the risk of a sunburn. Slip this into your bag and touch up whenever you need a sunny pick me up.

    5 // Hikari Cosmetics – Cream Pigment Eyeshadow in Envy

    While I usually prefer neutral hues for my eyes, I fell hook, line, and sinker for this shimmery shade which mimics the effect of the ocean waves crashing over the sea floor. It’s a soft yet striking blend of sea foam green and sandy beige. I love to rim my eyes with it, as the soft metallic effect instantly wakes up my peepers. Layer it thinly over your entire eyelid to cream a mesmerizing backdrop for a thick fringe of eyelashes, or dab it onto your lids to add a luxe touch to an edgy smoky eye. This creamy formula is highly pigmented and lasts for hours and hours without creasing. I’m in love.

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    Earl Grey Ice-Cream

    Over the past couple of years cooking has become a growing passion of mine. I love playing with different flavours and techniques and, while I am by no means a professional chef, it’s extremely satisfying for me to see my skills developing. Last Christmas my boyfriend got me an ice-cream maker and I’ve had an absolute blast trying out different flavour combinations. Red velvet, salted caramel chocolate, orange and white chocolate – I can’t stop coming up with ideas. One of my most recent flavours was earl grey. I made it this past weekend and I was amazed at how easy it was and how delicious the finished flavour was. It’s zingy yet creamy with a touch of lemon and caramel along with that unmistakable bergamot flavour we all know and love. This is an elegant dessert that is delightful on its own, but goes especially well with cozy, spicy desserts – for example, poached pear cake or apple pie. Are you addicted to both tea and ice-cream like me? Give this tasty confection a whirl.

    INGREDIENTS

    • 2 Cups Whipping Cream
    • 2 Cups Homogenized Milk
    • 1.5 Cups Granulated Sugar
    • 1 Tsp Caramel Extract
    • 1.5 Tsp Grated Lemon Zest or Lemon Extract
    • 4 Earl Grey Tea Bags

    DIRECTIONS

    1 // In a large saucepan, add your milk and cream with your four tea bags. Heat up the milk until you can see that the tea has dispersed and infused with your milk/cream mixture.

    2 // Pour your milk/cream mixture into a large bowl and add your sugar and extracts. The lemon and caramel extracts are optional, but they really enhance the sweetness and citrus freshness of the earl grey. With a whisk, blend well until it all gets a bit frothy and everything is well mixed.

    3 // Wait until your earl grey ice-cream mixture is completely cool and then freeze it according to the manufacturers instructions.

    4 // Once your ice-cream has finished churning, scoop it into an airtight container (it should be the consistency of soft serve) and put it into the freezer until it’s as firm as regular ice-cream (approximately 5 hours, although overnight is best).

    5 // Pile it high, add some caramel sauce and shredded coconut (or whatever your favourite add-ons are), dig in, and enjoy!

    Have you made homemade ice-cream before? What’s your favourite flavour and recipe? Sweet talk me in the comments!

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    Designer Spotlight | Samantha Pleet

    If you haven’t yet heard of Samantha Pleet, then you’re in for a treat. Seriously, this Brooklyn-based designer is one that you definitely need to add to your list of must-shop indie-designers. So how would one describe her unmistakable style? Think one part hipster babe meets two parts Alice in Wonderland with a splash of preppy uptown chic. I fell in love with her eclectic aesthetic instantly and her latest collection, centred around musical symbols and concert motifs, is no exception. Launched in 2007 after graduating from Pratt Institute, her eponymous label has since earned itself a cult following of loyal fans who adore her whimsical themes and beautifully constructed pieces. She even counts A-list celebrities such as Lorde and Tilda Swinton as fans. And let’s be honest – what Tilda Swinton says, goes. Her style is totally rad. Still not convinced that you need plenty of Pleet in your life? Keep scrolling to see a few of my favourite pieces from her harmonious spring collection – shameless pun totally intended. I think you’ll see the light.

    MY PICKS

    1 // Bell Dress

    2 // Backstage Overalls

    3 // Vista Dress

    4 // Lute Bodysuit

    5 // Prima Donna Jumpsuit

    6 // Grand Piano Skirt

    7 // Solo Shorts

    8 // Concerto Swimsuit

    9 // Cello Jeans

    10 // Petite Four Shirt

    Which of these pieces is your favorite? Psst.. I can’t get enough of the Vista Dress. Let me know in the comments!

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    Parisian Chic Style Guide

    I, like so many others, have always been inspired by the idea of the french woman. She’s stylish and beautiful without much effort. She eats what she wants (butter, pastries, and cheese included). She drinks wine everyday and she stays slim and fresh. She makes no apologies for living a life of decadence and yet she glows with good health. The allure of the french woman has spawned hundreds of books and articles and it doesn’t seem to be fading away. And for good reason! After all, don’t we all want to wake up with glowing skin and perfectly mussed up hair, maintain our health and still indulge in everything good life has to offer? Unfortunately, as someone who has never lived in France, I don’t have the secrets to mastering this paradox. I do, however, have a pretty decent grip on french style (if I do say so myself) and in this blog post, I’m focusing entirely on the main principles of it. From the must-have spring accessories to the beauty essentials that will give you that oh-so-alluring je ne said quoi, here are my tips and picks that encapsulate French style.


    A C C E S S O R I E S

    The french approach to fashion is all about the classically elegant capsule wardrobe that is punctuated by luxe extras. Tie a silk scarf around your neck and slip into a beautifully crafted pair of velvet loafers and watch your neutral cashmere sweater and cigarette pants ensemble go from zero to a hundred, just like that. When it comes to accessories (and everything really), buy fewer pieces but make them count. Sure, that designer bag may seem like a ridiculous amount of money now, but if it’s taken care of, it will last and look beautiful from season to season, year after year. Like a fine wine, a Chanel 2.55 flap bag only gets better with time.

    1 // Barneys New York – Small Straw Tote Bag

    2 // Tiffany & Co. – Sterling Silver Elsa Peretti Bean Necklace

    3 // Nine West – Huff Women’s Smoking Slipper

    4 // Polo Ralph Lauren – Callie Raffia Smoking Mule

    5 // The Cambridge Satchel Company – Cloud Shoulder Bag

    6 // The Met – Monet Sunflowers Bangle

    7 // Mulberry – Square Silk Scarf

    O U T E R W E A R

    When it comes to your coats and jackets, look for timeless silhouettes and high-quality fabrics. Once you’ve got a flattering style in mind, keep your eyes peeled for eclectic details and unexpected colours to breathe new life into basics. The mainstays of your spring/summer outerwear arsenal? A lightweight linen trench, a buttery soft cashmere cardigan, a waist-cinching leather jacket and a weekend-casual denim jacket.

    1 // Vero Moda – Cool Trench Jacket in Pink

    2 // Iro Luiga – Cropped Leather Jacket

    3 // (Pre-Owned) Chanel – Striped Knit Cardigan

    4 // Rebecca Taylor – La Vie Floral Embroidered Jacket

    T O P S

    The essence of french-girl chic is looking like you rolled out of bed in a striped Chanel boat neck and Dries Van Noten trousers, swiped on some lipstick and finger combed your hair before strutting outside with all of the confidence in the world. It’s effortless yet stunning. It’s put-together but not too polished. So how does one achieve this tricky balance when shirt-shopping? Look for well-made tops in beautiful, natural fabrics. Subtly sexy, unexpected details are oh-so-French as well. A deep, cleavage-baring v-neck? Non. But a plunging back in your linen sweater or an off the shoulder ruffled cotton tee? Oui. P.S. never underestimate the versatility of a silk t-shirt. It will take you from day to night with ease.

    1 // H&M – Ruffled Open-Shoulder Blouse

    2 // WtR – Sonnet Belted Silk Wrap Top in Emerald

    3 // River Island – Petite Pink Striped Crop Shirt

    4 // Chicwish – Focus On Lace-Up Back Sweater

    5 // Patrizia Pepe – Silk Blouse in Fuchsia

    6 // Mango – Floral Embroidered Striped Shirt

    7 // Banana Republic – Cropped Ponte Shell

    8 // Galvan London – V Neck Camisole in Black

    B O T T O M S

    Creating a well-rounded, french-inspired capsule wardrobe definitely requires a few essential pieces. For example, a perfectly worn-in pair of blue jeans for casual-wear is a must – I mean, how many of us live in denim? Also, a pair of dressier trousers that you can wear to work or to a fancier event. Don’t limit yourself to plain black – a classic print like stripes or houndstooth is a little more interesting but still goes with everything. Finally, make sure to have a collection of skirts that can take you from work to play. A lace or silk number is a sexy choice for a night out, while a fluttery knee-length piece can take you anywhere, from a wedding shower to a Sunday brunch. Like with everything else, never skimp on quality and pick pieces that are unique but not trendy – for example, a wide-legged pair of high-waisted blue jeans is ultra-modern but also timelessly flattering.

    1 // Dries Van Noten – Velvet Culottes in Mint

    2 // Weekday – Ace Wow Blue Jeans

    3 // Daily Look – Lily Lace Trim High Waist Shorts

    4 // River Island – Beige Paperbag Button Front Pencil Skirt

    5 // J. Crew – Okinawa Striped Wide-Leg Silk-Twill Wrap Pants

    6 // TOPSHOP – Heart Ruffle Toe Mini Skirt

    B E A U T Y

    French women are renowned for their simple yet extremely effective approach to beauty that centres far more around skin and hair care than makeup. Forget contouring or gluing on false lashes. French beauty is all about embracing your uniqueness and enhancing your natural beauty, while also taking excellent care of your complexion. Invest in top-shelf skincare and hair care items and stick to your regime everyday. Treat yourself to a bit of pampering as well – a monthly or bi-monthly facial and massage will keep your skin glowing, while also allowing you to gain professional insight on how to keep your face looking it’s best. Also, never forget to wear a bit of perfume. Find a scent you love and wear it until people associate it with you. Finally, go easy with the makeup. A bit of red lipstick and a smudge of eyeliner is all you need to make your beauty look really pop.

    1 // Yves Saint Laurent – Rouge Pur Couture The Mat

    2 // Byredo – Velvet Haze Eau De Parfum

    3 // French Girl – Lumière Huile Pour Le Corps in Moonlight

    4 // Avène – XeraCalm A. D Cleansing Oil

    5 // Bobbi Brown- Long-Wear Liquid Liner in Carbon Black

    6 // Peter Thomas Roth – 24K Gold Pure Luxury Hair Mask Treatment

    I hope you enjoyed this post! What does french-style mean to you? Let me know your thoughts!

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    March Beauty Picks

    Spring beauty for me is all about flawless, dewy skin, bright lips and a sense of playfulness, whether that’s an unexpected swipe of sea foam eyeshadow or a candy-coloured manicure. My skin has just recovered from a breakout of epic proportions and that’s all down to two holy-grail products in this list. Trust me, I’m a skincare junkie, and these are the cream of the crop.

    1 // SAND & SKY – Purifying Pink Clay Mask

    Not only does this mask work like a charm but it actually looks pretty while in action. Comprised of a Australian pink clay, it draws out excess oil, dirt, dead skin cells and other impurities, leaving your complexion smooth, clear, and matte. Plus, the petal pink hue is completely insta-worthy.

    2 // Mellow Cosmetics – Passion Matte Lipstick in Light Pink

    This may just be my favorite pink lipstick of all time. The formula is moisturizing and creamy but it dries to a velvety matte finish. Also the hue is pretty much perfect. It’s a light, rosy pink that makes me complexion look fresh and awake instead of ruddy or washed out like so many pink lipsticks do. A perfect ten – and I have a massive selection of lipsticks!

    3 // Tarte – Sex Kitten Eyeliner in Black

    My biggest beauty pet peeve is when my eyeliner runs and smudges into a racoon-ish mess within a couple of hours of me putting it on. I absolutely ADORE this formula (although honestly, Tarte rarely puts out a product I don’t love) because it glides on smooth and stays crisp and defined by the end of the day. It’s highly pigmented and the tip is super precise so this is my go-to for cat-eyes and when I want to fine-line my peepers. It’s a little pricey, but when you consider how well it works and that you only have to apply it ONCE in the day, it’s totally worth it.

    4 // Kester Black – Nail Polish in Violet

    Vibrant and sweet, this candy-esque lacquer reminds me of shiny hard candies – the kind my grandma would keep in a pretty bowl on the coffee table. This shade is not at all the subtle nude or french tips I usually go for, but it’s a great way to add a playful hit of colour that screams spring!

    5 // Juice Beauty – Green Apple Peel Sensitive Exfoliating Mask

    As someone with very sensitive, fair skin that’s prone to discolouration, I place a lot of importance on exfoliation in my skincare routine. Rough, abrasive scrubs just make my complexion red and irritated, so this gentle but effective peel is a favourite of mine. Packed full of fruit-derived alpha hydroxy acids and glycolic acid, this sweet-smelling gel breaks down dead skin cells and promotes collagen production and cell turn-over. Not only does this prevent breakouts but it helps to fade marks and enhance your skins natural glow. I use this twice a week and I absolutely love it. If you’re someone who finds traditional scrubs to be harsh for your skin, give this celebrity-approved product a try.

    What beauty products are you obsessed with right now? Let’s chat makeup and skincare – I can’t get enough.

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    Sweet Potato Parmesan Gnocchi

    I truly love to cook. It’s creative, productive and there’s something so meditative about working with my hands. Not to mention how rewarding it is to be able to sit down to a delicious homemade meal that I know I made from scratch. I’m trying to experiment a bit more in the kitchen and lately I’ve been making a ton of homemade pasta. While I love using my pasta maker to make fresh fettuccine, it’s quite a time consuming process and sometimes I just want to be able to whip up something that tastes like I slaved for hours without having to actually spend a lifetime at my stove. This decadent recipe for Sweet Potato Parmesan gnocchi tastes and looks fancy, but is incredibly easy and quick to make. Instead of reaching for that prepackaged, preservative-filled gnocchi at your local grocery store, flour up your counter, roll up your sleeves and see for yourself just how easy (and delicious) it is to make Gnocchi yourself! Pour yourself a delicious glass of Pinot Noir and get cracking.

    INGREDIENTS

    • 2 Medium Sized Yams
    • 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
    • 1/4 Cup Powdered Parmesan
    • 1/2 TSP Salt
    • 2 TBSP Garlic Powder
    • 1/2 TSP Sage
    • 1 Large Egg

    DIRECTIONS

    1 // Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

    2 // Cut up and peel your yams. Place them on a baking sheet drizzled in olive oil with a touch of salt and pepper and then bake them for 30 minutes.

    3 // Wait for the yams to cook completely and then mash them until they are smooth without any lumps. You can use a potato masher or fork, but a ricer works best.

    4 // Add the spices, Parmesan, salt and egg into the mashed yams and mix well.

    5 // Gradually add your flour bit by bit until you have a soft, pliable ball of dough. If your dough is too dry, add a touch or olive oil. If your dough is too moist, dust it in flour.

    6 // On a floured surface, roll out your dough into several skinny tubes and then slice into pieces that are about 1 inch thick. Use a fork to create ridges on your freshly cut gnocchi. This is not a total necessity but it will allow whichever sauce or flavourings you use to better adhere to your gnocchi.

    7 // Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add your gnocchi. Cook them for a couple of minutes or until they float to the surface of the water. Scoop them out with a ladle and place them into a serving bowl.

    8 // Toss your freshly made gnocchi with your favorite sauce and serve. I like it with just a touch of butter or olive oil with mushrooms sautéed in garlic, white wine and sage. With this recipe, simplicity shines and I love just letting the flavour of the gnocchi take center stage.

    9 // Enjoy your delicious gnocchi! How easy was that? Seriously, you don’t have to be an expert chef to create scrumptious, homemade gnocchi and it’s sooo much better than what you can buy prepackaged at the store. There is truly no comparison.

    If you try this recipe let me know how it goes! I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll be hooked.

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    spring-scents-perfume-shallow-materialistic

    Six Stunning Scents For Spring

    This slideshow requires JavaScript.

    In the same way that people like to update their wardrobe from season to season with a few key pieces, I like to refresh my perfume arsenal. As the chillier months melt away, I am looking forward to a lighter, more romantic scent wardrobe, filled with bright fruits, feminine florals, and earthy aromas that bring me closer to nature. With this in mind, I have curated a short and sweet list of six stunning scents that absolutely scream ‘spring is here!’. Keep scrolling to check them out!


    pop-stella-mccartney

    1 // Pop By Stella McCartney

    Notes: Tomato Leaf, Violet Leaf, Green Mandarin, Violet, Frangipani, Tuberose, Sandalwood, Cedar, Musk

    When you look at the notes for Pop by Stella McCartney, you don’t really get a strong impression of what this scent will smell like. Despite its predominantly floral, herbaceous ingredients, Pop is bright, flirty and optimistic. If it was a colour, it would be shocking pink. It has a sweet, almost edible aroma that is accented with ultra-feminine floral aromas. Wear it on those sunny spring days when you want to be dancing through your 9-to-5.

    marche-aux-fleurs-fragonard

    2 // Marche au Fleurs By Fragonard

    Notes: Melon, Black Currant, Sweet Pea, Lily-Of-The-Valley, Peach, Jasmine, Orange Blossom, Musk

    Fresh and almost watery in it’s opening, Marche aux Fleurs truly does smell like a walk through a rain-soaked French garden. Juicy black currant and ripe melon add a touch of sweetness to a dewy bouquet of white florals.

    white-potion-ayala-moriel

    3 // White Potion By Ayala Moriel

    Notes: Ylang-Ylang, Grapefruit, Rosewood, Tuberose, Jasmine, Gardenia, Sandalwood, Tonka Bean, Coconut

    Tuberose is the sultry vamp of the flower world. It’s not shy and it doesn’t hold back. It’s the star of the show in indie-perfumer Ayala Moriel’s decadent confection. White Potion is unapologetically sexy with sweet, almost carnal tuberose combined with juicy grapefruit, creamy sandalwood and beachy coconut. It’s a creamy, romantic fragrance that softens throughout the day, leaving a rich, floral trail that will intoxicate those around you all day long.

     

    cartier-aux-baiser-vole-eau-de-parfum

    4 // Baiser Volé By Cartier

    Note: Lily Pistil, Citrus, Lily Petals, Lily Leaves, Green Notes

    If spring could be incapsulated in a singular fragrance, it would be the delicate, powdery aroma of a fresh-cut bouquet of lilies. This ingenious cocktail by Cartier captures this timeless scent, surrounding all parts of the lily – the pistil, petals and leaves. I love spritzing this on when I leave the house on a spring day. Its bright and joyful, with an aroma that garners compliments from ladies and gentlemen alike.

    curious-by-britney-spears

    5 // Curious By Britney Spears

    Notes: Louisiana Magnolia, Anjou Pear, Lotus, Tuberose, Cyclamen, Jasmine, Sandalwood, Musk, White Woods, Vanilla

    What?! A celebrity scent?! No seriously, Curious by Britney Spears is simply gorgeous and so ‘spring’ that it had to be included on this list. It opens with a refreshing, watery burst of juicy pear, Louisiana magnolia and lotus. As it continues to bloom, the intensive floral heart is enveloped in a warm, sultry blanket of sandalwood, musk, vanilla and precious woods. This fragrance has been flying off its shelf since 2004 and it’s not a surprise why. Curious may be a celebrity-endorsed scent but it’s effortlessly elegant, feminine and timeless.

    wisteria-blue-nest-fragrances

    6 // Wisteria Blue By Nest Fragrances

    Notes: French Wisteria, Bulgarian Rose, Imperial Jasmine

    Romantic and regal are the two words that could best describe Wisteria Blue. Its simple composition proves that a complicated array of notes doesn’t always mean that a scent is more interesting. The three distinctive but complimentary notes blend together perfectly, creating a soft, velvety scent that is perfect for everyday (even office!) wear. It’s the kind of airy spring scent that you won’t want to start your day without!

    Have you tried any of these fragrances? What is your spring signature?

    xoxo,

    Alicia

     

    for-him-for-her-valentines-gift-guide

    Valentine’s Gift Guides For Him & Her

    Have some last minute V-Day shopping to get done? I feel you. But don’t fret – I’ve rounded up 22 pretty gorgeous gift ideas that are sure to please the special lady or gentleman in your life. Simply scroll, click, and pick up the perfect gift for your beloved or for numero uno – you.

    FOR HER

    valentines-gift-guide-for-her

    1 // Vivienne Westwood – Tamia Earrings

    These sparklers are just the right blend of sweet and edgy, for the lady who likes a little bling in her day-to-day.

    2 // Marc Jacobs – Daisy Eau So Fresh Kiss

    If she loved the original, she’s going to gaga for this spring-fresh blend of cherry blossom, blackcurrant and creamy sandalwood. Plus, how gorgeous is this bottle?

    3 // Godiva – 24 pc. Signature Chocolate Truffles Gift Box

    This stunning collection of mouthwatering dark and milk chocolates is almost too beautiful to eat. Almost.

    4 // Tiffany & Co. – Elsa Peretti Open Heart Small Necklace

    There is truly no better way to tell her she’s got your heart than with this minimalist open heart silver pendant. After all, jewelry is worth a thousand words.

    5 // Côte Noire –  Pink Roses in Black Glass with Gift Box

    Proving that faux can be fabulous, these artificial roses look like the real thing but last forever! They also smell gorgeous, thanks to the 10ml spray bottle of rose petal scent. Choose from ivory, blush, pink or crimson (the pink is my favourite).

    6 // Jennifer Behr – Velvet Bow Hair Clip

    Crafted out of luxe velvet, this sweet yet simple hair clip lends a touch of romance and femininity to an otherwise simple outfit.

    7 // Tod’s – Women’s City Gommino Nubuck Penny Loafers in Pink

    For the woman who is tired of traipsing around in toe-crushing stilettos, these hot pink loafers are super comfy and oh-so-chic.

    8 // Chanel – Coco Mademoiselle Scented Foam Bath

    Make bath time all the more indulgent with this creamy bubble bath, scented with Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle. Pair with a glass of champagne and oodles of candles.

    9 // Olivia Burton – Moulded Floral Bouquet Watch in Blush & Rose Gold

    This breathtaking time piece is seriously like a wearable piece of art. Guaranteed, anyone who wears this will be punctual, because they won’t be able to stop staring at their wrist.

    10 // Pink Poodle – Collectif Heart Shoulder Bag (from Glasgow)

    A little cheesy, a lot adorable, this statement-making bag will add a playful hit of colour and kitschiness to any and every outfit. The chain-link strap also keeps hands free!

    11 // Cosabella – Jolie Printed Tall Triangle Bralette

    Sweet and sexy, this floral-printed lacy number is as comfy as it is pretty. The crushed raspberry hue is also guaranteed to look gorgeous against all skin tones.

    FOR HIM

    men-valentines-gift-guide-2018

    1 // Komono – Gold Winston Watch

    If Cary Grant was a watch, he would be this gleaming beauty from Komono. From the cognac leather straps to the black face and gold hardware, everything about this watch says old-school dashing.

    2 // L:A Bruket – 166 Grooming Kit

    Think it’s just us ladies that like a bit of pampering? Think again. This fully-equipped shaving set makes it easy for your man to stay primped and polished with luxe products and ingredients that are selected especially for your man’s skin and hair.

    3 // Mulberry – Mother Of Pearl Cufflinks

    Like in relationships, when it comes to style, it’s the little things that make all the difference. With real mother of pearl, these sleek cufflinks are a luxe way to say ‘I love you’.

    4 // Guerlain – L’Homme Ideal Eau de Toilette

    This woody oriental is so lush and sexy that I want to wear it myself. With notes of almond, incense, leather, woods and just a hint of vanilla, this sultry cologne will keep her leaning in.

    5 // The Nikka Whisky Co. – Whiskies in Tube Tasting Set

    Indulge his love for whisky with this sleek and stylish tasting set! It’s a great way to find out which one he loves the most and will make cocktail hour a lot more exciting. After all, variety is the spice of life!

    6 // Electric Av2 – Polarized Gold Sunglasses

    Help him channel Tom Cruise in Top Gun with these sexy sunnies. They cost a pretty penny but who can put a price on protecting the eyes of the one you love right? Exactly.

    7 // Burberry – Check Cotton Oxford Shirt

    There’s nothing like a well-made Oxford shirt to make a man look put together. This crimson gem is made out of high-quality cotton fabric and can be dressed up or down for date night or weekend wear.

    8 // Scotch & Soda – Velvet Slip-On Loafers

    These plush velvet loafers will make him feel like Sonny Corleone (without the crime family) and will keep his toes toasty during February’s chilly mornings and evenings.

    9 // Beats by Dr. Dre – Studio 3 Wireless Headphones

    Music just sounds better with Beats. Make his morning commute a little better with these luxe headphones. You can’t buy love but Beats is pretty close.

    10 // Jack Black – Mint Lip Balm and Double Duty Moisturizer

    Keep his lips kissable and his complexion smooth with this refreshing duo from Jack Black. My boyfriend loves their lip balms and I have to say, I borrow his minty formula all the time.

    11 // Thom Browne – Penguin Mohair & Wool Jacquard Scarf

    There’s something about gentlemen in scarves that just gets me. It’s that extra touch of style that not all men add to their ensembles but they should! I remember when I went to Paris, all men wore scarves and it just looked so polished and fabulous. This quirky piece will keep him warm and stylish with cozy mohair and wool.

    Which gift options are your favorites? Make sure to pick up a Valentine’s treat for yourself!

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    Sweet Mint

    Maybe it’s the dessert fiend in me, but I’ve always had a soft spot for sugary sweet pastels. Though I love periwinkle blue, soft peach and cotton candy pink, soft and creamy mint is a particular favourite of mine and instantly reminds me of my favourite flavour of ice-cream – mint chocolate chip. Aside from giving me a sweet tooth, mint is just a gorgeous, effortlessly flattering hue and captures the light-hearted playfulness of spring. However you wear it, whether on your body, on your face, or on your nails, it instantly breathes new life into a subdued winter palette of dark hues and pared down neutrals. I don’t know about you, but come February, my eyes are starving for a little bit of colour. So go ahead – put down that black and slip into something a little sweeter.

    sweet-mint-green-fashion-style-shopping-list

    MY MINT PICKS

    1 // John Allan’s – Women’s Mint Invigorating Hydrating Conditioner

    2 // Kate Spade – Peacock Metro Watch

    3 // Sail to Sable – Mint Green Stretch Cotton Sweater

    4 // Chicwish – Creamy Pleated Midi Skirt in Mint

    5 // Ruby Rocks Accessories – Aqua Rose & Gem Stretch Bracelet Set

    6 // Manu Atelier – Mini Mint Pristine Cross Body Bag

    7 // Steve Madden – Saunders Sandals

    8 // Piloh – Bryophyta Mint Vase

    9 // ALC – Scherning Arrow Mint & Gold Stud Earrings

    10 // French Girl Organics – Menthe & Romarin Sea Polish Scrub

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    easy-breezy-spring-layers-shallow-and-materialistic

    Breezy Spring Layers

    cozy-spring-sweaters-picks

    Dressing for that awkward period between the holiday season and when spring officially arrives is a challenge if you live somewhere with actual seasons and a temperamental climate. As someone who lives in the Pacific Northwest, I’ve gotten used to Mother Nature’s mood swings and I know that between winter and summer, I simply cannot go outside in less than three layers. In the morning it might be sunny but come lunch time it may be dumping rain and in the evening it very well may be snowing. Enter the cardigan. If I’m cold I put it on, if I’m hot I take it off. Easy. Simple. I’m not freezing because I only wore a tee because the sun was out when I got dressed that morning or sweating buckets because I decided to wear my extra toasty cashmere sweater and now the sun is blazing through my office window.

    Aside from the functional aspect, layers add gorgeous depth to what otherwise may be a pretty basic ensemble. For example, I have a black and grey geometric patterned poncho that I throw on over pretty much everything and it makes even my most half-hearted attempts at getting dressed look decent. Like shoes or purses, it’s crucial to have at least a handful of cardigans in your closet, depending on your mood and the occasion. These six caught my eye. From the perfect grandpa knit for wandering around on a lazy Sunday to a sleek, polished trench for days when you want to feel a little more fan-ceh, they tick all of my boxes in terms of wardrobe requirements.

    MY PICKS

     

    This slideshow requires JavaScript.

    1 // Royal Robbins – Tupelo Falls Cardi

    You know what they say – sometimes simple is best. This lightweight cardigan is woven out of airy linen yarn for a soft, breathable feel. The best part? It can be worn as a drape front or cowl neck style, depending on your mood. Versatility and comfort – two qualities   I truly value in clothing.

    2 // Alice + Olivia – Ruthy Rainbow Staceface Appliquéd Cotton-Blend Cardigan (Splurge!)

    If you’re feeling sassy, than this head-turning piece is exactly what you’ll want to wear when you’ve got shade to cast and salt to sprinkle. It’s bold and statement making and sooo comfy you’ll want to fall asleep in it. It’s a little pricey but hey, truly great things don’t come cheap.

    3 // Burberry – House Check Reversible Cape (Splurge!)

    Burberry is one of those brands that effortlessly exudes old-world class and elegance and this sophisticated trench is no exception. It’s made out of ultra-luxe merino wool and the casual cape-style shows just a peek of the brand’s iconic check fabric. It’s the kind of timeless piece you’ll want to wear again and again, to low-key and upscale occasions.

    4 // Monse – Hudson’s Bay Striped Wool-Felt Blanket Coat (Splurge!)

    I don’t know why but I’ve always adored Hudson Bay Company’s classic blue, red, yellow and green striped wool fabric. I have a blanket in this fabric but I love the idea of wrapping myself up and wearing it as a coat. It costs an arm and a leg but is the kind of wardrobe investment that, if treated well, will last for years and years. This lightweight wool coat will keep you warm without being too heavy – perfect for those slightly chilly but sunny spring days!

    5 // Chicwish – Knit Your Love Cardigan in Hot Pink

    Punchy and playful, this sweet shade of bubble gum practically screams spring and has a kitschy vibe that I love. Pair it with an airy slip dress for warmer days and a lady-like feel or with a body suit and leather leggings for a look that channels Michelle Pfeiffer in Grease 2 (my girl-crush forever and ever).

    6 // Chicwish – Comfy Day Diary Cable Knit Cardigan in Mustard

    And finally, the cozy, chunky knit grandpa cardigan that I (and every other girl in the world, let’s be honest) needs in their life. This cable knit pattern is so pretty and the colour is just gorgeous. It’s a great everyday kind of sweater and at only $61 (Canadian), it’s an absolute steal. I would get three just in case.

    Are you excited for spring? Which of these is your favourite?

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    Fragrance Friday | Oh Lola! By Marc Jacobs

    NAME OF FRAGRANCE | Oh Lola! By Marc Jacobs

    NOTES | Wild Strawberry, Raspberry, Pear, Magnolia, Peony, Cyclamen, Sandalwood, Tonka Bean, Vanilla

    VIBE | Youthful, Playful, Flirty, Refreshing, Exuberant, Sweet

    Launched in 2011, Oh Lola! is the much fruitier flanker to Marc Jacobs’ Lola. While the latter is richly floral with romantic notes of rose, musk and pink pepper, Oh Lola! is a juicy treat, with the welcomed addition of wild strawberry, raspberry and creamy sandalwood. The fragrance world is completely saturated with fruity florals and while this crowd-pleasing blend isn’t exactly groundbreaking, it’s refreshing and yummy – like a raspberry Bellini. It’s the kind of scent you could give any girl as a gift and they would most likely enjoy it. So what does it actually smell like? Let’s get right into it.

    Oh Lola! opens with a lively spectacle of succulent strawberry, zesty raspberry and juicy pear. It’s unabashedly fruity yet clean and refreshing. It has a soapy quality because of the florals in the heart and it’s this floral bouquet that keeps the top from being childish and saccharine. It smells like a fruity body wash but not as generic or abstract. I’ve got a bit of a crush on this scent at this point but I’m not yet in love.

    Like most fruity-florals, the sweet berries and pear fade slightly and the flowers in the heart begin to reveal themselves in the heart. Peony, magnolia and cyclamen take centre stage but these are very soft flowers and they don’t smell opulently floral or perfumey like rose, gardenia or violet would. They are clean (almost watery) and they balance out the fruits in the top and the creamy notes in the base. For some reason the heart reminds me of pink champagne. It’s sparkling, light, and kind of intoxicating. Now I’m officially swooning.

    And now for the final stages of Oh Lola!. The lights are dimming, the curtains are closing and the after-party is beginning to kick into gear. Luscious vanilla combines with rich tonka bean to create a mouthwatering impression reminiscent of creme brûlée. This is the most seductive aspect of the fragrance and is when Oh Lola! most closely resembles the original. Sandalwood also adds a sexy woodsy, smoky element that reminds me of roasting marshmallows over a fire. Five hours into wearing this fragrance the fruits are gone, the flowers have faded and all that’s left on my skin is a warm veil of decadent vanilla cream. It’s faint but oh-so sultry and is my favorite part of the composition.

    From start to finish Oh Lola! is a playful and uplifting scent. It’s not too strong and is perfect for all kinds of situations, from casual days spent running errands to sparkling evenings out. If you like fruity fragrances and are looking for a fail-safe crowd pleaser for everyday, then I guarantee that Oh Lola! is a great bet.

    Have you tried Oh Lola! and Lola by Marc Jacobs? What was your favorite? Give me your two scents.

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    January Beauty Picks

    It’s a new year and so it’s time to hit refresh on my beauty routine! After a few weeks of my skin totally freaking out and my go-to products not clearing things up, I had to overhaul my skin and makeup regime. Luckily, come Christmas my complexion cleared up and I found a few beauty treasures that I can’t stop gushing about. From a sugary-sweet nail polish to the holy grail of toners, these beauty gems are the cream of the crop!

    1 // Pixi By Petra – Mesmerizing Mineral Duo in Orchid Ornament

    I rarely step out of my neutral box when it comes to my eye makeup (unless I’m going out and feel saucy). That being said, these shimmery peach and deep plum shadows add a subtle hit of colour without being too much. I also love that the purple tones bring out the green in my hazel eyes.

    2 // Thayers – Witch Hazel & Rose Petal Alcohol-Free Toner

    I used to think toners were useless until I tried this fan-favorite formula from Thayers. Witch Hazel deeply cleanses and minimizes pores while rose petal water hydrates and evens out one’s skin tone. It’s also suitable for super sensitive skin and smells amazing.

    3 // Pixi Beauty – Glow Tonic

    Packed with skin-saving ingredients like glycolic acid, aloe, and ginseng, this celebrated toner has a cult-following and for good reason. Glycolic acid increases cell turnover which helps to exfoliate skin, leaving it smooth, clear and glowing. A few weeks ago I was breaking out like no one’s business and this stuff seriously saved the day. I use it every other day and it has really made my complexion much more even and smooth. My skin is super sensitive and it hasn’t irritated it. That’s no small feat! This is truly a skincare gem that I will be repurchasing again and again.

    4 // Essie – Nail Polish in Mint Candy Apple

    This super-sweet shade feels festive and is reminiscent of mint chocolate ice cream. It also looks fabulous on all skin tones and will look on-point well into spring!

    5 // Rimmel – Lasting Finish Lip Colour by Kate Moss in 009

    Reminiscent of crushed raspberries, this gorgeous shade goes on matte yet is delightfully hydrating. Swipe on one coat for a just bitten look or layer it on for a beautiful Bordeaux hue.

    I love all of these products so much that it’s hard to pick a favorite! Have you tried any of these? And if so, what were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments!

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    Double Chocolate Butter Scotch Chip Cookies

    There are so many amazing desserts out there that it’s hard for me to pick a favorite, but if I had to choose, I would have to pick chocolate chip cookies. Let’s face it, it’s hard to beat this comforting classic. Unless, of course, you not only pack them full of extra chocolate chips, but also white chocolate and butterscotch chips! This recipe is what chocolate/caramel dreams are made of. They are chewy and soft and are jam packed with chocolate goodness. They are also incredibly easy to make. Even if you’re a total baking novice, you’ll be able to whip these up in no time without a problem! So go ahead. Pour yourself a glass of milk (or merlot), preheat that oven and get to baking! These are seriously too good to not make.

    INGREDIENTS

    • 2 1/4 Cups Flour
    • 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
    • 1 Cup Butter (Or Coconut Oil)
    • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
    • 1/2 Cup White Sugar
    • 1 Tsp Salt
    • 2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
    • 1/2 Tsp Caramel Extract
    • 2 Eggs
    • 1/2 Cup Milk Chocolate Chips
    • 1/2 Cup White Chocolate Chips
    • 1/2 Cup Butterscotch Chips

    DIRECTIONS

    1 // Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

    2 // Measure our your flour, baking soda, and salt and mix together in large bowl.

    3 // In a separate bowl, cream the butter (or coconut oil) with the sugar. Add the eggs, caramel extract and vanilla and mix well, either with a fork (it’s a workout) or an electric mixer. Beat until the mixture looks fluffy or like snow.

    4 // Add your dry ingredients to your butter and sugar mixture and mix thoroughly. Slowly add the chocolate and butterscotch chips and combine until they are distributed through the dough.

    5 // Use an ice cream scoop to spoon out balls of dough and place them about 2 inches apart on a greased baking tray or a baking sheet lined with waxed parchment paper.

    6 // Bake the cookies for approximately ten minutes. The cookies should be golden and crispy around the edges but soft in the centre.

    7 // Cool the cookies before transferring them to an airtight container where they will keep for about 1 week.

    If you try making these cookies, let me know what you think of them! They are definitely decadent and are truly a chocoholic’s dream.

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    Extra Luxe Holiday Gift Guide

    ‘Tis the season to be fan-ceh! Channel your inner Elizabeth Taylor and give your besties and favourite family members presents that ooze luxury. Or get them for yourself, because it’s been a crazy year and you totally deserve it.

    Screen Shot 2018-02-03 at 2.35.22 PM

    1 // Hudson Bay – 1940s Striped Wool Camp Blanket

    I don’t think there’s anything more indulgent than curling up under a cozy blanket with a glass of wine and the person you love. Unless maybe said blanket is crafted out of 100% wool and has an iconic, ultra-chic Hudson Bay striped print.

    2 // Charbonnel & Walker – Milk Sea Salt & Caramel Truffles

    Sweet and salty is my absolute favorite flavour combination and this luxurious truffle box is the front runner when it comes to indulgent treats. The perfect blend of caramel, creamy chocolate and sea salt, these are dangerous and it’s easy to eat the whole box in one go.

    3 // Archipelago Botanicals – Fragrance Diffuser

    Fragrance is (obviously) very important to me. As our sense of smell is intrinsically linked to our memories and emotions, home fragrance can really have a big impact on your life and overall well-being. This elegant diffuser disperses beautiful essential oils throughout your home, creating a mood that uplifts, energizes, or relaxes you, depending on your mood.

    4 // Crabtree & Evelyn – Pear & Pink Magnolia Deluxe Gift Set

    I absolutely adore running myself a hot, luxurious bath at the end of an exhausting day. This gift set comes with everything one needs to give themselves some much needed pampering. Plus the sweet floral scent of pear and pink magnolia is absolutely to die for. It’s like a spa day in a box.

    5 // Olivia von Halle – Lila Crystal Pink Silk Pyjama Set

    Think that satin PJs are too indulgent? You’ll be whistlin’ a different tune after you run your fingers along this buttery soft lavender pyjama set. Plus, look how pretty! If Audrey Hepburn was a pair of pyjamas, she would be these.

    6 // Virgin Wines – Bordeaux Duo in Wooden Gift Box

    There are a few things in life we can never have too much of: love, laughter, friendship and bottles of wine. Wine is one of the true loves of my life and I’m sure if you’re reading this you are nodding your head in agreement. Bad day, good day, wine just gets me. So give your favorite person this delicious Bordeaux duo to show just how much you care. If you love someone enough to share your wine, there is no greater love.

    7 // Byredo – Bibliothèque Candle

    This ultra-chic candle from everyone’s favorite perfume brand encapsulates the smoky, mysterious smell of a library. With sultry notes of violet and leather, this bad boy is just the thing to set the mood and make your most stylish friend’s day.

    8 // Chanel – Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum

    The fresher, more fabulous version of the original Coco perfume, this oriental gem is an oldie but goodie. With crisp florals such as orange blossom and jasmine alongside juicy citrus fruits and earthy patchouli and vetiver, this energetic yet elegant scent is the perfect balance between masculinity and femininity. And let’s face it, everyone needs more Chanel in their life.

    9 // La Mer – Crème de la Mer

    I’ll be honest – this sh*t ain’t cheap. But if you want to glow like the moon and age as freakishly slowly as J.Lo (a loyal fan), then invest in a jar of this miracle cream, infused with all of the best essences of the sea. And if you really, really love them, snag a jar for your most treasured fellow beauty fiend.

    10 // Philips – Viva Compact Pasta Maker

    Much like pizza and wine, I’ve never met a bowl of pasta I didn’t want to immediately stuff my face with. Pasta is even better (like much, much better) when it’s homemade. This sleek little gadget makes it super easy to create delectable homemade noodles in no time. Your foodie friend will go gaga for it and you can benefit by sneaking over for dinner whenever they feel like using it. Win-win.

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    Designer Spotlight | Ulla Johnson

    Despite fashion’s focus on minimalism, I’ve always considered myself to be more of a maximalist. I’ll take vivid prints, intricate lace and ornate beading over streamlined silhouettes and neutral hues any day of the week. One designer who never fails to make me swoon over their unabashedly luxurious collections is Ulla Johnson. Founded in 2000, this Brooklyn-based babe’s eponymous label has since earned itself a huge celebrity-studded following and tons of recognition from the fashion industry’s elite. With a strong focus on handmade touches and artisanal craftsmanship, each collection is characterized by breathtaking fabrics, natural fibers, lush textures and opulent embroidery. Ulla’s designs look as though they could come directly from the pages of a storybook, filled with kings, queens and castles guarded by dragons. These pieces cost a pretty penny but when you look at the artful craftsmanship, you will agree that they are worth every penny. After all, how can you put a price on a fairytale?

    MY PICKS


    1 // Mara Top in Poppy


    2 // Claude Dress in Crimson


    3 // Donna Dress in Copper


    4 // Nadine Pullover in Oatmeal


    5 // Carolina Blouse in Blanc


    6 // Marion Dress in Olive


    7 // Evelyn Skirt in Army


    8 // Teresa Jacket in Rose


    9 // Ceri Trouser in Army


    10 // Frances Overcoat in Bone

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    Haunted Forest 

    Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and come October I find myself continuously reaching for darker hues and gothic-inspired fabrics, patterns and details – think skulls, lace, decadent brocade and metallic hardware.  While I almost never wear orange around Halloween (too expected and cheesy), I do like wearing spooky colours. My favorite hue this month? You guessed it – forest green. It makes me think of abandoned castles, tragic medieval princesses and foggy haunted forests. It’s also much more universally flattering than pumpkin orange and works great as an unexpected neutral. Wear it from head to toe, as an accent accessory or introduce it into your beauty routine! Take it from me, a smudge of shimmering emerald eyeliner will make your gaze positively mesmerizing! Moody yet magnetic, I don’t know about you, but I’m totally seeing green this Halloween.

    FOREST PICKS

    Screen Shot 2018-02-03 at 2.38.02 PM

    1 // Elizabeth Cole – Jean Cocktail Ring

    2 // Paddywax Kaleidoscope – Balsam + Fir Soy Wax Candle

    3 // Metisu – Dark Green Belted Double Breasted Trench Coat

    4 // Nine West – Bartilly Green Suede Block Heels

    5 // Ana Lublin – Leather Cross Body Quilted Shoulder Bag in Green

    6 // Chicwish – Enticing Lace-Up Knit Cardigan in Dark Green

    7 // Ten 21 – Dark Green Wide Leg Jersey Trousers

    8 // Smith & Cult – Nail Polish in Darjeeling Darling

    9 // Lizzie Fortunato – Parker Feather Drop Earrings

    10 // Tory Burch – Crewneck Cashmere Sweater with Logo

    11 // River Island – Dark Green Floral Lace and Mesh Pencil Skirt

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    Mean Mr. Mustard 

    mustard-fall-fashion-trend-collage
    Without a doubt, my favorite season for fashion is fall. The layers, the chunky knits, the boots – I love it all. But most of all, I love the colours. Moody merlot, inky cobalt, burnt orange and earthy olive are a few hues that I love to wear this time of year. But my favorite fall shade? Mustard. Bright and bold with a 70s feel, this condiment-inspired colour adds a playful twist to everything from loafers and trousers to sweaters, handbags and even nail polish. Wallflowers, don’t immediately shun this shade – even though this is a loud hue, it works well as a neutral, so don’t be afraid to mix it with other strong colours such as plum, red or bright blue. Don’t be shy! Say it with me – more mustard please! Scroll on for a few of my must-have mustard pieces.

    mustard-fall-fashion-trend-collagemustard-fall-fashion-trend-collagemustard-fall-fashion-trend-collagemustard-fall-fashion-trend-collagemustard-fall-fashion-trend-collage

    MUSTARD PICKS

    mustard-shopping-picks

    1 // Reinhard Plank – Norma Felt Hat

    2 // Chairish – Grey & Mustard Silk Velvet Pillows

    3 // Tory Burch – Colette Skirt

    4 // David Tutera – 14k Gold Over Silver Citrine & Cubic Zirconia Flower Ring

    5 // Chicwish – Comfy Day Diary Cable Knit Cardigan in Mustard

    6 // Dorothy Perkins – Quiz Mustard Yellow Crochet Frill Sleeve Top

    7 // Butter London – Nail Lacquer in Cheeky Chops

    8 // Samoe – Band Watch in Mustard Yellow

    9 // Chanel – Timeless Mini Agenda Cover

    10 // Valentino by Mario Valentino – Mustard Yasmine Studded Crossbody Bag

    11 // Gucci – 2017 Marmont Fringe Suede Loafer

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    My Favorite Accessory For Fall

    The easiest way to dress up any outfit is with the addition of a silk scarf. The classic knot around the neck is always stylish, but it’s also fun to get creative with other options. Tie your scarf around your bag, wear it as a belt or wrap it around your hair for an Old-Hollywood-inspired retro look. I love to collect vintage scarves and I find that even if I’m wearing a hum-drum jeans and t-shirt combo, a scarf lends an elegance and je ne sais quoi that feels very french and oh-so-chic. Here are a few gorgeous printed scarves that I would love to wear with everything this fall! Some are pricey, some are a bargain, but all of them are delightful AF.

    MY SCARF PICKS

    silk-scarf-trend-shopping-guide

    1 // Asprey – Venetian Silk Square Scarf

    2 // Laura Ashley – Geo Print Silk Scarf

    3 // J.Crew – Fall Floral Silk Scarf

    4 // Peter Pilotto – Multicolour Pastel Scarf

    5 // Karen Mabon – Breakfast At Tiffany’s Print Silk Scarf

    6 // Moschino – Teddy Printed Silk-Satin Scarf

    7 // Banana Republic x Olivia Palermo – Foulard Skinny Silk Scarf

    8 // Tory Burch – Dancer’s Silk Square Scarf

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    Fragrance Friday | Fancy by Jessica Simpson

    NAME OF FRAGRANCE | Fancy by Jessica Simpson

    NOTES | Pear, Apricot, Red Berries, Gardenia, Jasmine, Almond, Caramel, Sandalwood, Vanilla, Amber

    VIBE | Romantic, Cozy, Cuddly, Feminine, Comforting

    If perfumers had the ability to bottle up the exact essence of caramel drizzled creme brûlée, you would get Fancy by Jessica Simpson (her debut scent). It’s unabashedly sweet and decadent, and it’s exactly the kind of cuddly, cozy fragrance I want to wear on a chilly autumn day.

    This gourmand treat opens with sweet pear, syrupy apricot and sugary red berries. The top notes may be purely fruity, but the rich, dessert-like notes in the base are already rising up at this point. My first impression of Fancy, when I initially sprayed it on, was that it was very, very sweet but not youthful. It doesn’t smell like the candied, cheap body sprays that young teens wear. It’s rich and creamy, and wraps around you like a soft cashmere sweater. It just radiates warmth and soft femininity.

    As the fragrance evolves into the heart, the most prominent notes that give Fancy its main characteristics come into play. Voluptuous jasmine and gardenia are the only two flowers in the scent but they are barely detectable. They just add an underlying sexiness, an almost animalic quality that compliments the creamy caramel and sugared almonds perfectly. It’s in the heart of the fragrance where Fancy is truly at its best. At this point, I can hardly stop sniffing my wrist. Seriously, I could happily drown in Fancy.

    Like a fairytale, Fancy is a romantic fragrance that ends as beautifully as it began. Staying true to the cuddly, gourmand nature of the scent, the three notes that are left on your skin are vanilla, amber and sandalwood. It’s slightly spicy, milky and sexy. It’s soft and delicate and is only strong enough to smell when leaning in for a hug. My boyfriend loves when I wear Fancy. Honestly, he rarely notices the perfumes I wear, so the fact that he actually verbalizes that he likes this scent, says it all. If you enjoy sweet, dessert-like scents and orientals, or are looking for a romantic scent for a date, then give Fancy a try. It’s super cheap (I got my 50ml bottle for $25) but stands up to more expensive designer juices. It’s one of my favorite fall scents and if you love vanilla, you are going to be obsessed with this yummy perfume.

    Have you smelled Fancy before? What’s your favorite fall scent?

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    5 Fantastic Subscriptions That Are Totally Worth It

    I’ll admit that, while I love nature, I’m a total city girl who loves the many amenities of urban living. Prior to this year the only kind of subscription I paid for was Netflix and for monthly issues of Elle Canada. The past year has been a revelation and I have discovered 5 game-changing subscription services that make everything from getting ready in the morning to cooking dinner, so much easier and more pleasurable. Whether you’re looking for convenience or a little bit of luxury, these services are sure to elevate your daily life. 

    1 // My Stylish French Box

    If you’re like me and go wild for all things french, then this lovely box of treasures is going to give you goosebumps. Sign up and every few months you will be sent a parcel filled with fashion, beauty, home decor and lifestyle items by gorgeous french designers from all over the country. It costs a pretty penny, but when you consider how many luxury gifts you get per box and how useful each item is, it’s totally worth it. You can even gift a box to a friend! If you want to live like the french, and who doesn’t, then this is the subscription service of your dreams.

    2 // Naturebox

    Healthy and yummy snacks delivered to your door? I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a dream come true to me! I don’t snack a ton during the day but I like to have a pick me up or two while I am work and after a workout to keep my energy levels high and my mood pleasant. Because hanger is a real thing my friends! Each snack is made without artificial flavours or ingredients and there are over 100 options. Go nuts – literally and figuratively (the salt and pepper cashews are delish).

    3 // ScentBird

    I’m a fragrance fanatic and so when I discovered Scentbird I was hooked. For only $14.95 a month they send you a small bottle of perfume so you can see if you love it and want a full-sized bottle. Each month you get to choose the perfume you want to be sent and they have options from some of the biggest brands and designers – think Dolce and Gabbana and Armani – as well as more obscure indie brands. For the cost of a sandwich and coffee, you’ll be sent high-end perfumes bottles. And these aren’t the tiny sample vials you are given along with a purchase at a department store. Each bottle comes with 8ml of fragrance and so if you spray modestly they can last ages! It really is the subscription service of my olfactory dreams. 

    4 // Ipsy

    I can honestly say that since I’ve started my subscription with Ipsy (early spring last year), I have rarely had to go out and buy makeup. When you sign up you fill out a profile that tells the company what your preferences, skin type and hair type are, and then each month a bag is sent to your door that is specially created with products to fit your tastes and beauty needs. I have to say, their system is effective because I very rarely get a product that I don’t like. They also send fabulous, high-end products from brands like Benefit, Tarte, Too Faced and Makeup Forever, as well as lesser known indie brands. Beauty fiends, sign up to discover new products and brands, and for the joy of getting a little bag filled with makeup every month. Oh, and did I mention that the bags are adorable? I have used Ipsy bags as clutches and wallets on more than one occasion. 

    5 // Hello Fresh 

    I can honestly say that I love cooking, and so the only real obstacle to me making a home-cooked meal at the end of the day is a lack of energy and ingredients. Hello Fresh delivers perfectly proportioned ingredients and recipes to your door so that you can make fancy-pants, delish dishes in no time at all and with practically zero cooking know-how. I wouldn’t use this service on a daily basis, but it’s perfect for lazy days or when you are hosting a dinner party and want to make a stellar impression with very little effort. It’s also a great way for beginners to improve their cooking skills!

    Have you tried any of these subscription services? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    September Beauty Picks

    september-beauty-picks-shallow-and-materialistic
    I, like so many others, have always been mesmerized by french ladies’ effortless yet completely elegant approach to beauty. Slightly messy hair, ruby red lips and creamy lit within skin seems to be the parisien go-to formula – at least in my mind. So while I take a few other cues from french culture in terms of my diet and attitude (eat until satisfied and no more, drink water and feel no guilt about indulging in a glass of wine with dinner and a bit of chocolate for dessert), my focus in my beauty routine is on hydrated, healthy skin, shiny yet slightly unkempt hair and sultry red lips. So far it has been serving me well and I think it will serve you too! So behold, my five favorite french-inspired beauty products that have become staples for me. Enjoy!

    1 // Skoah – Hydradew Mask

    Fruit is good for your body, so you just know that it’s good for your face! Hyaluronic acid, sea kelp, algae and vegetable extracts help to deeply hydrate your skin, leaving your complexion soft as a baby’s bottom and healthy. Plus it smells like grapes and feels super light and refreshing!

    2 // Pixi – Glow Tonic

    I’ll admit, I used to pretty skeptical about toners but this silky elixir has me in love. Ginseng and aloe vera help to brighten and soothe the skin while glycolic acid purifies and helps to remove toxins from deep inside your pores. Simply dip a cotton ball in this magic potion and cleanse any remaining makeup, dirt and oil off your face after you use your regular face wash.

    3 // French Girl – Hair Rose Revive Oil

    Deeply moisturize unruly tresses with this richly hydrating, but still non-greasy, hair oil. Argan oil is rich in nourishing fatty acids, while rosehip, hemp and tamanu oils condition the scalp, which is often the source of hair troubles. The rich floral scent of rosemary and rose geranium is stress-relieving and has properties that help to repair damaged hair. Basically, it does it all and you need it now. Not to be bossy.

    4 // NARS – Semi Matte Lipstick in Jungle Red

    There’s nothing like a swipe of red lipstick to make me feel polished and pretty. Even if my skin is misbehaving and my hair is frizzy (thank you cold weather), a ruby red pout makes me feel like Katharine Hepburn. This shade feels retro and powerful. I love wearing it to work, in the evenings. Any old time. Red is my go-to come fall and winter and this formula (although expensive) is hydrating, and lasts for ages.

    5 // Benefit Cosmetics – Dandelion Box ‘O’ Powder Blush

    Perfecting that no-makeup-makeup look is a bit tricky but this illuminating blush from Benefit makes it a bit easier. It’s a very subtle shade – a rosy ballet slipper pink – and has just enough shimmer to make your skin look refreshed and bright without that clown effect that a lot of blushes give. It’s a cult-favorite for a reason and is a godsend when you haven’t had enough sleep and need to look like a human being.

    What are your favorite beauty product right now? Let me know in the comments!

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    Vegan Pumpkin Spice Chai Snickerdoodles

    We all have our weaknesses, and while I am usually equipped with strong willpower when faced with baked goods, there are a few treats that I simply can’t say no to and am willing to spend an extra hour or two in spin class for. A few examples? My grandmother’s juicy apple pie, a flaky cheese croissant from a really good bakery, and these spicy-sweet snickerdoodles.

    This recipe is from Vegetarian Times, but I tweaked it slightly with sweet pumpkin purée and fragrant chai tea to make it extra delicious and fall-like. This recipe is super easy and can be customized totally depending on the season. For example, you could add some almond extract in the summer, mint in the winter, coconut in the summer – you get the picture. For the perfect cozy fall evening treat, whip up a mouthwatering batch of these tasty cookies and prepare to impress everyone with your crazy dessert chef skills!

    INGREDIENTS

    • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 cup cornstarch
    • 1 tsp. baking powder
    • 1 stick (4 oz.) vegan margarine, softened
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 1 sachet of chai tea
    • 1/4 cup pumpkin purée
    • 1 tsp cardamom
    • 1 tsp nutmeg
    • 1/4 cup soy, almond, coconut or cashew milk
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract

    Cinnamon Sugar Topping

    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 3 tbs. cinnamon


    DIRECTIONS

    1 // Preheat your oven to 350°F and evenly coat your baking sheet with vegan margarine or cooking spray to prevent sticking.

    2 // In one large bowl, mix together your dry ingredients (apart from the sugar). Tear open a packet of chai tea and mix it in with the flour.

    3 // In a separate bowl, use beaters or a fork to cream margarine until it is light and very creamy. Add the sugar and pumpkin purée, and beat until it has a snow-like, fluffy texture.

    4 // Add soymilk and vanilla extract to your creamed sugar and margarine and beat until smooth. Next, add the dry ingredients and beat until it is thouroughly mixed.

    5 // Scoop out and roll little balls of your snickerdoodle dough. Coat each cookie in cinnamon and sugar before placing them on the baking sheet.

    6 // Put the cookies in the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. The cookies should be lightly browned on top but still soft and chewy.

    7 // You can keep the cookies in an air tight container for about two weeks.

    These cookies honestly taste like everything good about autumn! Enjoy these decadent treats with a hot chai tea latte or steaming cup of coffee. If you try this recipe, let me know what you think!

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    Brand Spotlight | Cold Picnic

    Brooklyn-based indie label Cold Picnic is striving to make everyone’s home, wardrobe and life just a little bit cooler. Launched in 2010 by husband and wife power duo Phoebe Sung and Peter Buer (both of whom were already equipped with mad skills and training in both design and business), they quickly took the New York style scene by storm with their playful collection of home wares, handbags and jewelry – talk about #relationshipgoals! And #careergoals for that matter. Cold Picnic offers an amazing selection that ranges from cheeky rugs (the boob range is my fave), bath mats and wall hangings, to bedding, plant holders and accessories. Phoebe and Peter draw inspiration from cultural expectations, movies, art, interior design and national parks, and all of these motifs are visibly woven into each piece. If your space or wardrobe is in need of refreshing, check out this indie label for stylish treasures that will make all of your friends say ‘where did you get that and where can I get one?!’.

    Check them out.

    COLD PICNIC PICKS


    1 // Old Fort Ring


    2 // C is for Canyon Cuff


    3 // Hi-Lo Earrings


    4 // Cracked Bronze Metallic Backpack


    5 // Tonal Boob Bathmat


    6 // Talking Rocks Bathmat


    7 // Sailor Knot Plant Hangers


    8 // Hallsands Wall Hanging


    9 // The Kiss Knit Blanket


    10 // Objects From Home Rug

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    Copper


    Warm shades of bronze, copper, rose gold and rust are ideal this time of year as we transition from summer into fall! Metallic hues pop against a tan and lend a boho goddess feel to an outfit. At the same time, they compliment the warm, cozy palette of fall and mimic the colours of fallen leaves – maroon, cognac, gold. These gorgeous bronze pieces will add a bit of glitz and luxury to your home and wardrobe while taking you from summer all the way through fall!

    COPPER BUYS

    Screen Shot 2018-02-03 at 2.49.37 PM

    1 // Joos Tricot – Knitted Lurex Sweater

    2 // Adidas – Stan Smith Boost Copper Metallic

    3 // Tom Dixon – London Scented Candle

    4 // Sophia Webster – Clara Crystal-Embellished Metal Clutch

    5 // Miu Miu – Short Metallic Copper Dress

    6 // MM6 Maison Margiela – Metallic Textured-Leather Ankle Boots

    7 // Mark & Graham – Copper Martini Glass

    8 // Oliver Bonas – Rudy Copper Cat Eye Sunglasses

    9 // Kevyn Aucoin – The Molten Lip Colour Molten Metals in Rose Gold

    10 // Nails Inc. – The Mindful Manicure Nail Polish in And Breathe

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    6 Stylish Backpacks For Back To School

    There’s something about getting prepped for back to school that I’ve always loved. January 1st may be the official beginning of the new year but I always feel like September is a fresh start. A time when everyone’s slates are wiped clean and we can start fresh – new clothes, new classes, new goals. One of my new goals is to be more organized. As someone who works full time and is working on a bachelors degree in marketing, I’m pretty freakin’ busy and keeping my life scheduled and my stuff organized is pretty crucial to my sanity. One small step I’m taking is swapping my overly stuffed, messy handbag for a practical yet stylish backpack. Unless I’m on a hike or camping trip, I’m never going to tote around a canvas rucksack, but these backpacks check all of my requirements – sleek, chic, roomy, and on-trend without being overly trendy. Let me know which one you like best!

    Back-to-school-backpacks-shopping-picks
    BACKPACK BUYS


    1 // Proenza Schouler – Pebbled Courier Backpack in Acid Yellow

    I love the combination of minimalist lines with the punky acid yellow hue. I know it would add a shot of flair to even the laziest of student outfits. 


    2 // Charlotte Russe – Velvet Lattice-Front Backpack

    As I mentioned before, velvet is HUGE this fall. This backpack may just be my favorite. The burgundy velvet is oh-so luxe and the corset-inspired lacing references the 90s, which is obviously ridiculously on-trend right now. 


    3 // Marc Jacobs – Denim Patchwork Biker Backpack

    Denim. Patchwork. Marc Jacobs. Need I say more? This biker backpack definitely makes a statement and is roomy enough to fit your textbooks, MacBook and all of your other essentials.


    4 // Jessica Simpson – Camille Backpack in Blush

    I have to hand it to her, Jessica Simpson’s line of clothing and accessories is actually pretty fabulous. I love the nude/blush hue and the gold hardware adds just the right amount of edge.


    5 // Coach – Billie Textured Leather Backpack in Tan

    My style has always been a little more on the classic side and so this streamlined cognac backpack instantly caught my eye. It has a slightly masculine vibe that I love and the front two pockets are perfect for storing my always hard to find essentials – my keys and phone. 


    6 // TOMS – Suede Embroidered Poet Backpack in Dusty Rose

    This slouchy suede bag is feminine and sweet without being too precious. The beaded tassel is also such a cute touch. Cute, chic with room to spare. What more could a girl want?

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    Fragrance Friday | Poison Girl by Dior

    poison-girl-dior-editorial-collage
    NAME OF FRAGRANCE | Poison Girl by Dior
    NOTES | Bitter Orange, Lemon, Damask Rose, Grasse Rose,  Orange Blossom, Tonka Bean, Sandalwood, Vanilla, Almond, Tolu Balsam, Cashmeran, Heliotrope

    VIBE | SultryCuddly, Comforting, Romantic, Feminine, Yummy, Flirty

    When it comes to sweet and sexy date night scents, I already have a few favorites tucked away in my arsenal. I love Jessica Simpson’s peaches and cream confection ‘Fancy Love‘ for a romantic dinner with my boyfriend, and Viktor & Rolf’s Bonbon for an, ahem, night time dalliance. Who knew that both of these scents would be knocked out of the way as soon as Dior released their uber-popular fragrance Poison Girl in January of 2016? Sweet yet not sugary and almost overwhelmingly sultry, Poison Girl is the perfect juice for when you feel like getting busy, whether that means a night out club hopping with your lady friends, or, you know.

    As I mentioned before, Poison Girl is a very popular fragrance and has been raved about by bloggers/vloggers, instagram influencers, magazines – you name it. Because I like to wear perfume that not everyone else is wearing, it took me a while to give this succulent scent a try. After spritzing a bit on my wrist while browsing around Sephora, I instantly understood what all the fuss was about. It’s delicious. It’s decadent. It’s everything you want in an evening fragrance without any of the cheapness that is often associated with gourmands. Even though it’s called Poison Girl, it has a sophisticated quality that feels very womanly and sensual.

    This aphrodisiac of a fragrance opens with two citrus notes – bitter orange and Sicilian lemon. Normally, when citrus fruits open up a fragrance, the impression is fresh, sporty, sometimes astringent. This is not the case with Poison Girl. It’s as if the orange and lemon have been rolled in granulated sugar. The effect is juicy and somewhat candy-like as opposed to clean and airy.

    As the mouthwatering fruits in the top begin to fade, the opulent florals in the heart take centre stage. What flowers are these you ask? Velvety damask and grasse roses alongside a sweet hint of orange blossom. One rose note is often enough to take over an entire scent and make the whole effect very rosy and floral. Luckily, orange blossom is a very light, slightly sweet white flower that really softens up the roses and ties together the notes of the top, heart and base. While the heart is composed entirely of flowers, at this point in the scent I can already smell the sweet, creamy notes in the base rising up. This creates an unabashedly sexy aroma that is lightly floral, balsamic and dessert-like all at the same time. If I was in lust at first spritz, I knew I was falling in love when the scent warmed into the heart notes.

    Unlike a lot of scents out there that dry into pale musk and unidentifiable woods, Poison Girl is as delicious in the dry down as it is when you first spray it on. With ultra sweet notes like tonka bean, vanilla, almond and tolu balsam, the only thing that prevents the base from smelling like a gourmet dessert buffet (and really, there would have been nothing wrong with that), is the floral touch of heliotrope. It’s not enough to give the end of the scent a strongly floral feel, but it does soften the other notes with a touch of feminine sophistication. Poison Girl’s dry down is creamy and rich with just a hint of flowers and although it’s hard to pick a favorite part of this stunning scent, I think the drydown takes the sweet almond rose-water cake.

    In conclusion, Poison Girl completely lives up to all of the hype. It’s decadent and sexy yet utterly feminine and romantic. It’s the kind of perfume that men love and women compliment as well. While I think it’s best suited for evening occasions, it’s refined enough to wear to more formal affairs – a ornate black-tie dress would go just as well with Poison Girl as a slinky beaded romper that you would wear to the bar. Despite its rich, dessert-like notes, it’s not overpowering (provided that you don’t overspray – one to three spritzes is all anyone needs) and so if you fall head over heels, there’s no reason you shouldn’t make it your new everyday signature. If you are a romantic, a chocolate and flowers kind of girl who loves the finer (ahem, more expensive) things in life, than you are going to adore Poison Girl. And frankly, so will everyone around you. It sounds like a lot of fluff and hype, but really, it’s that good.

    Have you tried Dior’s Poison Girl yet? Do you like it better than the original Poison? Let me know what your thoughts were in the comments!

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    Falling For Fall | 6 Cozy Autumn Candles

    I’m a scent-aholic and so one of my favorite things about fall is filling my home with cozy smelling candles inspired by the delicious aromas of autumn. Candles, and scents in general, can do wonders for creating a specific atmosphere and mood. For example, if I want to relax and unwind, I might light a candle scented with vanilla, woods or lavender. If I want to feel cozy and creative, I’ll light smokier scents with apple, tobacco, cinnamon or caramel. Whether it’s the perfume you wear or the candles you light, scent is such a personal, intimate thing and everyone has their own preferences and opinions on what makes a perfect fall candle. Some prefer sweet pumpkin spice latte scents, while others like candles that mimic the smells of nature – fallen leaves and dewy apple orchards. Whatever your preferences, I am positive that one of these delectable fall candles will tickle your fancy. Here’s to all of the warm and fuzzy feelings and delicious smells that fall brings!


    1 // Bath and Body Works – Leaves

    NOTES: Red Apple, Golden Nectar, Clove Spice

    Leaves from Bath and Body Works is an autumn classic and is one of the candles that I repurchase year after year. It’s sweet and spicy but still fresh, reminiscent of a brisk but sunny fall day spent crunching through fallen leaves in a tranquil park. It’s utterly pleasant and a fail-safe crowd pleaser. I’ve yet to meet a soul that didn’t adore Leaves!


    2 // Byredo – Treehouse

    NOTES: Bamboo, Pimento, Hay, Labdanum, Myrrh, Leather

    If you lean towards green, outdoorsy scents, you are sure to fall head over heels for this refreshing candle. It reminds me of fragrant pine needles, dew-laden grass and fallen leaves. Oh, and apparently it’s Taylor Swift’s favorite!


    3 // Max Benjamin – Coffee and Cardamom

    NOTES: Coffee, Cardamom, Patchouli, Rose and Vanilla

    Is there anything more mouthwatering than the smell of hot coffee in the morning? Only if it’s laced with exotic cardamom, voluptuous rose and creamy vanilla. This sensual candle is exactly what I want to light when I want to cuddle up on the couch with my boyfriend. The definition of cozy.


    4 // Nectar Republic – Autumn Pear

    NOTES: Fresh Pear, Caramel, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Vanilla

    If bakery-inspired scents are your jam, then look no further than this drool-worthy candle. With nuances of juicy pear and creamy caramel and cinnamon, it smells exactly like a poached pear tart. Light this bad boy and everyone will be wondering what delectable confection you’ve been baking.


    5 // Frostbite Studios – Sherlock’s Study

    NOTES: Pipe Tobacco, Cherrywood, Fresh Rain

    Channel your inner recluse detective and enjoy the mysterious aromas of smokey pipe tobacco and cherrywood. A clean rain accord brings a slight freshness to the candle that reminds me of days spent in a musty study, reading with tea in front of a rain spattered window. It’s very unique and completely sets itself apart from other atypical fall scents.


    6 // Often Wander – Apple, Ginger & Sandalwood

    NOTES: Apple, Ginger and Sandalwood (obvs)

    When it comes to fall scents, the smell of apple and ginger is a classic. This sweet and spicy combination reminds me of a juicy wedge of apple pie, but without all of the guilt and calories. It’s also made with clean-burning soy wax which lasts a lot longer than other waxes, so you can enjoy this delicious candle for ages and ages!

    Do you have a favorite fall candle? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    6 Fall Trends I Want To Wear Right Now

    Although I love summertime and all of its joys (lazy beach days, nights spent on patios with rose and girlfriends, sunsets with sorbet), I can’t help longing for cool autumn days and the cozy clothes that go with them. As the temperature is still hovering at 30 degrees (Celsius), I am not quite ready to give up my slip dresses, sandals and shorts, but in my head I’m wearing chunky sweaters, slouchy boots and blanket scarves. For any of you who are getting ready to shop for their autumn wardrobe essentials, take a quick gander at these six drool-worthy fall trends. As soon as the leaves change colour and the temperature drops a few degrees, I swear that I’m wearing them all. Possibly even at the same time.


    1 // CHUNKY SWEATERS WITH HANDMADE DETAILS

    Come fall, there’s no better way to keep toasty than with an oversized grandpa sweater, preferably knit out of chunky yarns. Handmade details and bold, colourful patterns give this trend a nostalgic feel that is a gorgeous blend of quirky and sophisticated. Plus it’s surprisingly versatile. Throw one over a silk slip dress for a night out or pair it with broken in boyfriend jeans for a laid back weekend look.


    2 // KITTEN HEEL SHOES

    I have always been a fan of kitten heels and I am so glad they’ve made a comeback this fall. Why? They’re the perfect compromise between a pair of flats and sky high pumps. They are effortlessly chic in a Parisian girl sort of way and can be worn everywhere, from the office to a midday lunch with your in-laws. Sweet yet sexy, comfy yet polished. It ticks all of the boxes a shoe should.


    3 // RAW EDGE CROPPED DENIM

    Sure, we all need a few polished pairs of jeans in our wardrobes, but every now and then it’s time to live on the edge – the raw edge. Unfinished hems are one of fall’s biggest trends and whether you like them cropped, flared or skinny, they instantly lend a cool girl, ‘I didn’t even try’ vibe to any outfit. Add a blanket scarf, floppy hat and a pair of slouchy boots and you’ve got the perfect autumn ensemble.


    4 // VELVET ACCESSORIES

    Despite what you may think, velvet isn’t just reserved for flower girls and 80s prom dresses. This luxe fabric is having a revolution and is appearing on everything from boots and bags to bows and chokers. I love to wear velvet accessories with more casual, distressed pieces – say a leather jacket and ripped jeans. It’s glamourous, feminine and over the top – in the best way.


    5 // SLOUCHY BOOTS

    The slouchy boot is the shoe of the season. Laid back and sexy, they go with everything. When worn with a flowy flowery dress they are boho chic. Pair em with leather trousers and a slouchy sweater and they have a rocker-babe vibe. I don’t know about you but I plan to buy one in a multitude of colours and fabrics – leather, suede, velvet, you name it.


    6 // SILKY ‘DRESSY’ BLOUSES

    Dressy ‘going out’ blouses are coming back in full force. You know what I mean. Those satiny, beaded, pattern tops that we all used to pair with jean and heels when going out for a date or clubbing with the girls. The best thing about these pieces is their utter simplicity. Throw on a pretty top, pull on a pair of jeans (mid-rise, high-rise, low-rise – there are no rules this season) and slip into a pair of ankle boots and you’ve got the perfect, effortlessly stylish OOTD. Lazy ladies like me, rejoice!

    What fall trend is your favorite? Let me know what you think in the comments! I’m so excited for fall I can’t even handle it.

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    Healthy Vegan Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

    I, like most normal human beings, love indulging in a frosty bowl of ice cream. Unfortunately it has been harder for me to enjoy my favorite treat as I have recently become a vegetarian and I’ve learned about all of the horrors that animals endure within the dairy industry. While there are quite a few great vegan ice cream brands and shops out there, I took it upon myself to create my own version – one that is healthy, delicious and free of sketchy preservatives.

    This recipe is ridiculously easy. Seriously, it requires 9 ingredients and you don’t even need an ice cream maker. It also has the creamiest most decadent texture that is pretty much identical to the real thing. I chose to make mint chocolate chip ice cream because it’s my favorite, but you could totally customize this depending on your tastes. For example, you could swap out the banana for strawberry, add more vanilla and forgo the mint to make classic strawberries and cream! The options are endless and oh-so delicious. 

    INGREDIENTS

    • 1 Avocado
    • 1 Can Sweetened Coconut Cream
    • 2 Cups Coconut or Cashew Milk (I find that almond milk has too strong of a flavour that distracts from the mint and chocolate.)
    • 1 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips
    • 1 tbsp Mint Extract
    • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
    • 1 Banana
    • 2 tsp Stevia 
    • 3 tbsp Matcha Powder
    • A Few Drops of Green Food Colouring


    DIRECTIONS

    1 // Measure out all of your ingredients apart from the chocolate chips, vanilla and mint extract, and food colouring.

    2 // Blend the avocado, banana, coconut cream, coconut milk, stevia and matcha powder until the consistency is rich and creamy – the avocado should make the consistency similar to whipped cream.

    3 // Pour the contents of the blender into a mixing bowl and add the extracts, food colouring and chocolate chips. Stir until the ice cream is a pale mint colour and the chocolate chips are evenly distributed.

    4 // Pour the ice cream mixture into a freeze-safe container and freeze it uncovered for 6 hours. The ice cream should be firm but easy to scoop.

    5 // Scoop, top with sprinkles, shredded coconut, chocolate flakes or whatever you feel like. Enjoy your cruelty/dairy/guilt free frozen treat! 

    I hope you enjoyed this recipe! If you give this a try, let me know how it turns out! 

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    August Beauty Picks


    This summer my beauty routine has centered almost entirely around my complexion. Vancouver has been going through a major heat wave for the last few weeks. That combined with pollutants and toxins from forest fires have left my skin dry and irritated skin very prone to breakouts. Luckily, I have come across a handful of products that have kept my face free of congestion and glowy. From a deep cleansing mask that makes me look like an extra from Avatar, to the prettiest lip gloss I have worn since the eighth grade, here are my five favorite beauty finds this month.

    1 // LUSH – Don’t Look At Me Fresh Face Mask

    Behold, the delightfully scrubby antidote to oily, sunparched summer skin. Loaded with cleansing lemon juice, brightening neroli and exfoliating ground rice, this bright turquoise mask will make you look like a smurf when you first put it on, but after ten minutes you will be left with matte, baby soft skin that is as clear as the summer sky (not to be overly poetic). Plus, it smells like a lemon tart which is always a bonus.

    2 // Organik Botanik – Brown Sugar Face Scrub

    If you love DIYing your own beauty products, then prepare to fall in love with this sweet smelling scrub. Organic Botanik is an Australian brand that champions all natural ingredients and simple formulas that are effective and earth-friendly. This scrub is made primarily with, you guessed it, brown sugar, and polishes away blockages and dead cells for a complexion that is hydrated and glowing. You’ll be forgoing your tinted moisturizer after one use, because who needs makeup with a face this fresh?

    3 // Benefit Cosmetics – The Porefessional Face Primer

    I rarely use foundation, primer, or any other skin of face makeup, other than a touch of concealer and bronzer. Although this silky potion is technically a primer, I like to wear it and nothing else on my face. It glides on like whipped air and blurs everything from pores to imperfections. Seriously, my complexion looks like that of a China doll when I use this (which is quite frequently). It doesn’t provide a lot of coverage, but is great for hot, humid days when the last thing you want to do is layer on foundation.

    4 // Urban Decay – Naked Ultra Nourishing Lipgloss in Streak

    Let’s face it – Urban Decay can do no wrong. Although I am normally a lipstick kind of gal, this punchy coral gloss is too fun to resist. I love it because it deeply hydrates my chapped lips like a balm while providing a sexy, I-just-licked-my-lips sheen. This colour is also gorgeous – not too orange and not too pink. It absolutely pops against a (obviously faux – no skin damage here) tan.

    5 // Hikari Cosmetics – Shimmer Bronzer in Flush

    If you’re anything like me and have a naturally pasty complexion that you drench  in SPF from May through September, than an authentic sun-kissed glow is kind of a far-fetched fantasy. Enter, bronzer. This multitasking compact can be swept across your forehead, cheeks and nose for an all over glow, or used to contour and sculpt your face for a more polished look. I also love the hint of shimmer it gives. It’s not so much sparkle that I look like a disco queen, but is just enough to give my face a lit from within glow.

    What are your favorite summer beauty products? Let’s chat in the comments!

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    Elevated Office Essentials

    In case you haven’t been able to tell from this blog, I am a firm believer in adding a little bit of pretty to every situation I’m in, whether I’m picking out new pieces for my fall wardrobe, making myself a cup of coffee, or decking out my desk as work. I consider myself to be very lucky in the sense that I genuinely enjoy my job and am happy to go to work 40 hours a week. We all spend a good chunk of our lives working away trying to earn those dollar bills and sometimes we forget that working can and should be a (mostly) pleasant, or at least not terrible, experience. Aside from, you know, actually liking your work and what you do, putting a bit of effort into making your surroundings stylish and comfortable goes a long way into making yourself happier at work. Sure, it’s not your apartment so you can’t exactly plunk a sofa in front of your desk or pick out paint swatches, but a few touches here and there – like a potted cactus, scented candle and pretty notebook – can make a cold and sterile looking office space look stylish and feel homey. With that in mind, here are seven elevated office items that will instantly add a sprinkle of luxury to your work day.

    ELEVATED OFFICE PICKS

    elevated-office-essentials

    1 // U Brands – Copper Tape Dispenser

    Regular plastic tape dispenser = boring. Copper architectural tape dispenser = insta-worthy. #thatofficelife

    2 // Vera Bradley – Mini Floral Notebook with Pocket

    Flowers make my heart sing and so obviously this pretty printed pocketbook stole my heart instantly. Keep the meeting minutes in this gorgeous notebook and try not to get distracted by its loveliness.

    3 // FrankieandClaudeshop (Etsy) – Pretty & Smart and Goal Digger Pencils

    For when you need a mid-work day pep talk and also have no time for boring writing utensils.

    4 // Delta Gamma – Striped Floral Motto Sorority Clipboard

    Need a little extra motivation? This elegant clip board tells it like it is and mixes prints like a streetstyle superstar. #likeaboss

    5 // Geddes – Donut Keepsake Erasers

    Everyone makes mistakes, but not everyone has a collection of super cute donut erasers to fix them. Remember that.

    6 // Pilot Lady – Sakura Cherry Blossom Fine Nib Fountain Pen

    While 99% of what is written in an office is typed up digitally, sometimes it’s nice to have a beautiful pen for the rare occasions when you have to hand write something. Dreading that Monday meeting? At least you can take notes with a stunning fountain pen that makes you feel like Elizabeth Bennet in Pride & Prejudice.

    7 // Forever21 – Tassel Paper Clips

    Think that paper clips can’t make a statement? Think again! Tassels are one of summer’s hottest trend and they look just as cute when they are hanging off this month’s report as they do hanging off your sundress.

    What indulgences and luxuries do you treat yourself to at work? Let me know in the comments!

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    Brand Spotlight | Dusen Dusen

    If wild prints, bold colours, and monochromatic PJ outfits are key components of your style MO, then prepare to fall head over doc martens for Dusen Dusen, a cool girl clothing and home decor brand based in Brooklyn. Designer and founder Ellen Van Dusen launched her first collection in 2010 and in the seven years since it burst onto the scene, it has expanded to include accessories and home furnishings, all with her signature eclectic aesthetic. Ellen draws inspiration from the typical sources – art, graphic design, culture – but she also creates each collection while considering how the human brain reacts to colour and contrast. Her artful (and somewhat scientific) approach translates into sleek and sharply cut silhouettes, bright hues (often primary colours), and geometric prints. It’s a magic formula that has earned this indie brand a cult following and Dusen Dusen shows no signs of slowing down. My usual style is pretty classic – think sleek cuts, lots of lace, feminine details, and lots of pastels with the odd bright here and there – so Dusen Dusen is not my usual cup of tea. That being said, there’s something about its unapolegtically in-your-face feel that pulls me in. While I’m not quite ready to don their head-to-toe printed panama suits, I am in love with their summery day dresses, cuddly (but with an edge) sweaters, and playful home furnishings line (I NEED the fruit bedding set). If you refuse to remain under the radar and love the ease of matching sets (and who doesn’t?), then allow me to introduce you to your style soulmate. Wallflowers need not apply.

    DUSEN DUSEN PICKS


    1 // Wrap Dress Lock Stripe


    2 // Blue Key Tiered Tank Dress


    3 // Floral Tile Jane Dress


    4 // Rose Tile Mask Tee

    5 // Floral Tile Level Tank


    6 // Gray Curl High Waisted Pants


    7 // Lilac Key Elastic Waist Pants


    8 // Clip Throw


    9 // Fruit Bedding


    10 // Ladder Pillow

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    Beauty Of The Vine

    I’ll be perfectly honest – there are very few things I love more than wine. I adore wine. Unwinding after work with a glass full of pinot grigio or merlot is pretty much the highlight of my day. Aside from it’s delicious taste and ability to help us relax, wine is also packed full of antioxidants and other skin-beautifying properties. Everyone knows that a glass of red wine a day is good for your health, but who knew that it could do wonders for your skin as well? From diminishing the signs of aging to deeply hydrating and evening out one’s skin tone, there’s very little that this magical elixir can’t do beauty-wise. Now, I’m not suggesting that we all go home and start chugging cabernet sauvignon by the bottle (that will only leave you looking ruddy and bloated), but these six wine-infused products pack all of the beneficial vitamins and antioxidants as our favorite beverage, but with none of the calories or, ahem, other side effects. So here’s to having more vino in our lives, in our glasses and on our faces. Bottom’s up.

    WINE BEAUTY PICKS

    wine-infused-beauty-products

    1 // Vine Vera Resveratrol Skin Care – Merlot Collection Moisture Day Cream

    Drawing skin-perfecting power from wine’s magic component – resveratrol – this splurge-worthy moisturizing cream deeply hydrates and evens out one’s skin tone. If you’re looking for a powerful anti aging cream that will even out discolouration, this is your best bet.

    2 // DeAge – Red Wine Essence

    Anything that claims to be the essence of wine has instantly captured my attention. Just a drop or two will penetrate deeply into the layers of your skin, improving tone, texture and elasticity. It also feels super luxurious and absorbs instantly!

    3 // TONYMOLY – Pore Care Red Wine Sheet Face Mask

    What could be more indulgent than sipping a glass of wine while donning a face mask? Well, this wine-fused sheet mask is here to answer that question. With antioxidant rich jasmine juice and resveratrols from red wine, this inexpensive mask works better than a ton of masks from luxury brands!

    4 // Arcona – Wine Oil (Repair AM/PM)

    Nothing quenches thirsty skin better than a facial oil, especially if it’s loaded with ultra-nourishing grape seed oil and extract. This lightweight oil is like food for your face with all of the proteins, carbohydrates, fats and polyphenols your skin needs to be healthy and radiant! It’s a splurge, but it’s worth every penny.

    5 // Labiotte – Chateau Wine Lip Balm

    Your lips will love the silky texture of this balm – not to mention the just-bitten berry hue! This moisturizing formula is enriched with hydrating grape seed oil and Chateau Margaux wine extract, which acts as a natural chemical exfoliant. If satin-smooth, lush lips are your beauty MO (and really, why wouldn’t they be), then this luxe balm is an instant add-to-cart!

    6 // Holika Holika – Wine Therapy Sleeping Masks (White & Red Wine)

    Whether you’re more of a red or white wine kind of gal, there’s a sleeping mask for you! First, the wine barrel-inspired packaging is adorable. Second, these masks smell delicious. Third, they actually do what they are supposed to. If you’re looking to reduce fine lines and discolouration, slather on a bit of the red mask. Is hydration your concern? A little bit of the white mask will do the trick in no time. If you’re feeling saucy, double dip both masks to address both issues at the same time!

    Have you tried any wine skincare products? What were your thoughts on the results? Let me know what you think!

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    Cotton Candy 


    You know what they say – if you’re gonna think, think pink. Sugary shades of bubble gum and cotton candy pink will sweeten even the blandest of outfits. Even if this girly hue isn’t normally your cup of tea, it can be given an edgy update with lace cut-outs (check out the romper below), sexy hardware and edgy prints. Not ready to become a full-fledged pink lady? A sultry pair of pale pink kitten heels or a dab of shimmery rose eyeshadow are all you need to add a dose of playful femininity to your look without looking like Little Bo Peep. It’s my personal opinion that pink looks awesome on everyone and this fairy-floss inspired colour will instantly brighten up your face and make you look fresh and awake. Afterall, they don’t call it ‘pretty in pink’ for nothing! Scroll on for ten of my favorite fashion and beauty picks in summer’s sweetest shade.

    COTTON CANDY PICKS

    cotton-candy-pink-beauty-fashion-accessories

    1 // Boohoo – Ellie Heart Pink Lens Sunglasses

    2 // Monki – Stretch Cotton Playsuit

    3 // N’Damus London – Mini Pink Leather Satchel

    4 // Baja East – Pink Fila Edition Shearling Drifter Slides

    5 // Humble Chic NY – Pom Pom Statement Hoops

    6 // Smith & Cult – The Shining Lip Lacquer in Her Name Bubbles

    7 // Guishem – Nail Lacquer in Paris Pink

    8 // ZACASHA – Baby Pink Crystal & Silvertone Cotton Candy Choker

    9 // Sugar Milk – Cotton Candy Whipped Body Butter

    10 // Ariana Grande – Sweet Like Candy Eau de Perfume
    xoxo,

    Alicia

    Scent Sunday | Forbidden Euphoria by Calvin Klein


    NAME OF FRAGRANCE | Forbidden Euphoria by Calvin Klein

    NOTES | Raspberry, Tangerine, Peach Blossom, Tiger Orchid, Pink Peony, Jasmine,  Musk, Cashmere Wood, Patchouli

    VIBE | Sultry, Decadent, Sexy, Flirty, Feminine, Playful, Sparkly, Energetic

    So, this week has been crazy and I hate that I haven’t been able to blog as much as I usually do and would like to. Normally I like to do my fragrance reviews on Friday (Fragrance Friday – catchy right?), but I don’t want to wait until next week because I LOVE this scent. So without further ado, let’s chat about Forbidden Euphoria – AKA the best perfume ever released by Calvin Klein.

    Most perfumes that are marketed as being ‘sexy’ are anything but sexy in my opinion. I’m not about musky, spice-laden scents but this fruity, patchouli-laced juice has an effortless sexiness that is lighthearted and fun. Released in 2011, Forbidden Euphoria was created to be the more playful, youthful counterpart to the original floriental, Euphoria. Truthfully, it smells nothing like the original. If Euphoria is the chic LBD you wear to work and to your boyfriend’s sister’s wedding, then Forbidden Euphoria is the sequinned romper you wear out to the club on a Friday night. It’s not what I would call classy or elegant, but it’s totally gorgeous and fun. If you’re on the lookout for a fruity evening scent for summer, then read on, because this fruitchouli is a gem.

    Encased in a translucent violet bottle, Forbidden Euphoria opens with juicy notes of tangerine juice, iced raspberry, and velvety peach blossom. The first spritz is bright and effervescent and sparkles for about an hour before the florals in the heart eventually begin to bloom. The fruits in the top don’t exactly smell natural, but they don’t smell so synthetic that the perfume smells fake or like chemicals. The raspberry and tangerine stand out the most, and they smell candied, laced with a dusting of sugar. It’s a little syrupy at first (this is not a formal or office-appropriate scent) but as the florals in the heart become more prominent, it really starts to soften.

    I love when orchid is in a scent, and Tiger Lily orchid is the main accord in the heart. Creamy jasmine and translucent peony don’t particularly stand out, but they do compliment the orchid and help to water down the sugary fruits in the top. The florals in the heart add to the feminine sexiness of the scent, and smooth out all of the notes. At this point, Forbidden Euphoria is still fruity, but softer and with a floral creaminess thanks to the orchid.

    After around five hours, the fruits dissipate, the florals fade away, and the musky, woody notes of the base come front and centre. Musk, cashmere wood, and patchouli conclude the scent with earthiness and a hint of spice. Not everyone likes patchouli – it’s kind of a love it or hate it kind of note. It’s dark and has a unique aroma that has been compared to everything from soil and mold to coffee and chocolate. I personally love patchouli but even if you’re not a fan, it’s subtle enough that it doesn’t dominate or overtake the other ingredients in the base. The cashmere and wood is soft and velvety, and the musk adds to the sensual vibe of the fragrance. I love putting Forbidden Euphoria on in the evening because the smell of the base on my skin is just utterly sexy and I love waking up smelling like this. The musk and wood also deepens the top and heart of the scent, making it last for ages. If you’re looking for a nighttime scent that would keep up with you no matter what crazy shenanigans you get up to, this is an amazing choice.

    As I mentioned before, I would not wear Forbidden Euphoria to formal occasions or to work. It’s quite strong and fruity, and it better suited for evening and for nights out dancing or clubbing. It’s also a good date-night scent because of how sultry it is. If you’re hunting for a nighttime perfume or adore fruity fragrances, then this is totally your jam and you should give it a try.

    What’s your favorite Calvin Klein perfume? Have you tried Forbidden Euphoria? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

    xoxo,

    Alicia