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.

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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

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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

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.

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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

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

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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

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