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


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

Brand Spotlight | Loeffler Randall 

Not to get all cliché, but I’ve kinda got a thing for shoes and bags. I’ve been known to line up my bags and shoes and take photos of them just because they make me happy. Is it normal to have more pictures of your purse collection on your phone than your friends and family? What can I say? My blog is named what it is for a reason! Although there are quite a few labels out there that I adore (hence the point of this ‘Brand Spotlight’ series), few come close to Loeffler Randall. This drool-worthy accessories label is the brain-child of husband and wife duo Jessie Randall and Brian Murphy, and they have been designing collection after collection of dreamy peep-toes, espadrilles, flats, bohos, satchels – you get the picture – since the Fall of 2005. Crafted out of the creme de le creme of materials, these pieces cost a pretty penny but are more than worth it. Every collection manages to walk the delicate line between trendy-modern and simple and classic. Translation? These are accessories you can wear with anything and treasure for years and years to come. So if you haven’t yet fallen into the Loeffler Randall rabbit hole, get ready to dive head first.

MY PICKS

1 // Lucia Studded Knot Slide


2 // Amara Platform Slide


3 // Elayna Ankle-Tie High Heel Sandal


4 // Domino Slide Sandal


5 // Coco High Heel Knot Slide


6 // Minimal Rider


7 // Knot Tote


8 // Drawstring Tote


9 // Tassel Pouch


10 // Dome Satchel

Photos via Loeffler Randall.

xoxo,

Alicia