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 clichΓ©, 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 NΒΊ 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

Advertisements

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 //Β 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