Splurge & Save | High End & Drugstore Beauty Favorites


I don’t think that it’s any secret that I’m a huge beauty junkie. While I do have a ton of different make up, skincare, and hair products littering my vanity, they aren’t all from high-end, trendy brands. There are certain products that are worth splurging on, just as there are a few holy grail drugstore items that rival even their most pricey counterparts. From my splurge-worthy swear-bys to the diamonds in the rough, these are the best beauty products out there, regardless of your budget. 

SPLURGE 


1 // Fresh – Lotus Youth Preserve Eye Cream

I am a bit of a night owl and so a good eye cream is a must for me. This anti-aging formula brightens my eyes and makes me look like I’ve gotten a good eight hours of sleep when really I’ve only gotten five. It also packs an anti-aging punch with star fruit extract and tons of antioxidants.

2 // Urban Decay – Naked Eye Shadow Palette

This is the holy grail of eye shadow palettes. It has it all – neutrals, blues and purples, metallics, and mattes. Whatever my mood, there is a delightfully high-pigmented shadow ready to go. It also never creases and lasts for ages. This palette may be a little pricey but it’s worth every penny and when mine bites the dust, you can bet that I will buy another ASAP. 

3 // Benefit – The Porefessional Face Primer

Seriously, this stuff is better than any foundation I have ever used. I don’t even need foundation after using this primer. It goes on like silk and blurs pores and imperfections until all you’re left with is baby smooth, porcelain doll-like skin. Add a touch of mascara and some tinted lip balm and you’re good to go!

4 // Marc Jacobs – Highliner Gel Eye Crayon

This is my favorite eyeliner. Why? It goes on smoothly, doesn’t tug at the delicate skin around my eyes, is highly pigmented, and it lasts all day long. It is also self sharpening. Why is there even such thing as eyeliners that you have to sharpen yourself in this day and age? But for real, this eyeliner looks as fresh at 8 pm as it does 8 am. Give it a try and see why it’s perfection itself.

5 // Fekkai – Salon Professional PrX Reparative Mask

The key to silky smooth strands is hydration. Fortified with hair-nourishing vitamins and Argan extract, this vanilla scented hair mask penetrates deeply into each hair shaft to smooth and condition, leaving it lustrous and soft. It also never hurts when your hair smells like sugar cookies. 

SAVE


1 // L’Oreal Paris – Voluminous Mascara in Carbon Black

I have tried many mascaras, from high-end designer to cheap dollar store versions. This inexpensive formula is one of the best out there. It leaves my lashes thick and fluttery. There’s practically a breeze when I bat my eyes. Bambi eyes are just a few clicks away. 

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

This is the perfect matte lipstick. It glides on like a gloss and then dries to a plush, velvety magenta hue that brightens my face and makes me look polished and pretty. It also doesn’t dry my lips out which seems to be a common problem with matte and long-lasting lipsticks.

3 // Neutrogena – Hydro Boost Water Gel

Lightweight and cooling, this is my absolute favorite moisturizer in the summertime. It is formulated with purified hyaluronic acid and this gel formula sinks into the skin right away and deeply hydrates without leaving a greasy residue. It keeps my skin looking fresh and supple, but never shiny.

4 // Olay – 4-in-1 Combination/Oily Daily Facial Cloths

While I love indulging in a multi-step skincare routine on most days, sometimes I’m just too exhausted to cleanse, tone, and moisturize. Enter these delightfully multitasking cloths which whisk away makeup (even waterproof mascara), oil, dirt, and debris while toning my complexion, all in one go. They are absolutely perfect for low-maintenance ladies. Now there is no excuse for going to bed with a face full of makeup!

5 // Garnier – SKINACTIVE Micellar Cleansing Water (All-in-1 Waterproof Makeup Remover & Cleanser)

I’m sure you’ve heard of micellar water before – you know, that skincare product that all the models claim to use religiously and that every magazine raves about. It’s like this magical potion from heaven that takes off all of your makeup, cleanses and conditions skin. The best part? You don’t have to rinse it off! This formula is super gentle and removes literally everything, even my waterproof mascara. It’s like unicorn tears in a bottle. Lazy ladies, rejoice!

I hope you enjoyed this post! Do you have any favorite luxe/cheap beauty products that you think I should try? Let’s talk beauty! 

xoxo,

Alicia

Healthy (And Vegan!) Pancakes


There are few things I love more than breakfast and I especially love pancakes. The lazy Saturday mornings I spend making chocolate chip pancakes with my boyfriend are something I really look forward to and cherish.  That being said, lately I’ve decided to put more effort into my health and eating right. I’ve also started eating a vegetarian diet. Although I am not vegan and do eat dairy and eggs, I try to keep portions of those foods small and so I really love the idea of making dishes vegan whenever I can. This pancake recipe came from a friend and colleague and is as delicious as it is nutritious. It leaves out all of the things that could conceivably make pancakes unhealthy (refined sugar, dairy, white flour, eggs) but keeps the flavor and fluffy texture of the pancakes you’ve grown up eating. It’s also filled with energizing vitamins so you won’t feel sluggish after eating these like you would with a stack of flour-made pancakes! They are incredibly quick and easy to make – all you need is a blender and a mere handful of ingredients. Here’s how it’s done!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Cup Apple Sauce
  • 1 Mashed Banana
  • 2 Cups Oatmeal
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • * Extras ( I like raspberries, blueberries, and matcha tea powder)

DIRECTIONS

1 // Preheat a pan or skillet on medium heat. Grease the pan with a bit of coconut oil.

2 // Measure out the ingredients and dump them into your blender or food processor.

3 // Blend on a low speed until the ingredients are blended and have a consistency that resembles batter. If the consistency is too thick, add a little bit of coconut or almond milk.

4 // Use a soup ladle or 1/2 cup to scoop up the batter and pour it onto the hot pan.

5 // Cook the one side until small bubbles start to form. Flip the pancake and cook the other side (approximately 2 minutes). 

6 // Repeat until all of the batter is used up. Garnish with fresh fruit, whipped coconut cream, and a touch of syrup!

If you give these a try let me know how they turned out for you! Also, I’m on the look out for other good vegetarian or vegan recipes so if you have a great one, please share! 

xoxo,

Alicia

Brand Spotlight | Matt & Nat

I, like many other ladies, am always on the hunt for the perfect handbag. The word ‘perfect’ in regards to purses means different things for different people, but for me it means spacious (to carry my toiletries and all of the things a nomad like myself needs), well made, durable, stylish, and made out of eco-friendly materials. Montreal-based brand Matt & Nat knocks it out of the park on all counts when it comes to their line of vegan totes, backpacks, and purses. Even their clutches fit more than some of my shoulder bags! Their aesthetic is exactly my style – timeless, streamlined, with just a touch of quirk. And just when you think that it can’t get any better, not only does this brand dish out a mean selection of arm candy, but they also design some of the cutest shoes I’ve ever seen. And that’s saying something because shoes are kind of my thing. Since 1995, founders Indi Bedi and Manny Kohli have stuck to their vision of designing gorgeous accessories that are ethically made out of vegan (and often recycled) materials like nylon, cork, and rubber. Their pieces are beautiful inside and out, both figuratively and literally. Sure, the linings are almost as pretty as the bags themselves, but they are also designed with the belief that the well being of the environment and animals should never be sacrificed for fantastic style. And as someone who has decided to forgo animal products from her diet, I hold those values close to my heart as well. It makes sense for me to support brands and to buy products as frequently as possible that do not harm our furry friends. There are a lot of great vegan brands out there and Matt & Nat is one of the best. If you haven’t yet heard of this Canadian label, get ready to drool over your screen. I know that I do every time I peruse their selection.

MATT & NAT PICKS

1 // Jasmine Bag in Glass

2 // Obe Bag in Quartz

3 // Blake Weekend Bag in Olive

4 // Abiko Clutch in Coral

5 // Chanda Backpack in Azur

6 // Drapeau Slide Sandals in Black

7 // Suave Slide Sandals in Quartz

8 // Villeray Sandals in Tan

9 // Orford Tote in Koala

10 // Griffintown Mule in Tan

xoxo,

Alicia

Photos via Matt & Nat

Lavender Dreams

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Soft and soothing shades of lavender and lilac are an easy way to lend a touch of feminine sweetness into an otherwise pared down wardrobe of black, white, camel and grey. From accessories and beauty to your wardrobe and living space, a pop of purple is just what the design doctor ordered. So scroll on to feel the mood and check out 11 of my prettiest purple picks.

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LAVENDER BUYS

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1 // Elizabeth Arden – Touch of Lavender Eyes Wide Open Eye Shadow Trio

2 // Chicwish – Lavender Tulle Mini Skirt

3 // Origins – Calm To Your Senses Lavender and Vanilla Bath/Body Oil

4 // MAC – Colour Rocker Lipstick in Flatter Me Fierce

5 // Brixton – Lavender Corbet Fedora

6 // Love Stories – Hazel Stretch Lace & Jersey Soft Cup Triangle Bra

7 // Elizabeth and James РLeonie Cutout Stretch-piqu̩ Mini Dress

8 // Humble Chic – Druzy Threader Dangle Earrings

9 // OPI – Infinite Shine Nail Polish in ‘In Pursuit of Purple’

10 // Tory Burch – Jolie Fleur Lavande Eau de Parfum

11 / Birkenstock – Lavender Suede Arizona Soft Footbeds

xoxo,

Alicia

Scent Saturday | Daisy Eau So Fresh


NAME OF FRAGRANCE | Daisy Eau So Fresh by Marc Jacobs

NOTES | Grapefruit, Green Notes, Raspberry, Pear, Jasmine, Rose, Violet, Litchi, Apple Blossom, Musk, Virginia Cedar, Plum

VIBE | Exuberant, Sparkling, Bright, Youthful, Playful, Energetic, Girly

In my opinion, it is rare that a sequel is ever as good as the original. Whether it’s a book, movie, or perfume, eight times out of ten the second (and third, and fourth) effort tends to fall a little flat. There are always exceptions to every rule and in this case, Marc Jacob’s Daisy Eau So Fresh is that exception.

Before I smelled this perfume for the first time, I expected to be underwhelmed. Because I loved Daisy so much, I thought that I would be making comparisons in my head favouring the original. After spraying it on my skin however, I was shocked to realize that (dun, dun, dun) I love it even more than Daisy. While Daisy is a beautifully composed scent, it’s very subdued and demure. It’s reigned in and perfectly pleasant but it doesn’t make a statement. Daisy Eau So Fresh is like the original’s bubbly, social butterfly of a younger sister. It’s youthful and sparkly like a sequined dress. If you enjoy fresh and fruity fragrances, then this energetic juice will be right up your alley.

Daisy Eau So Fresh opens with a glittering blend of grapefruit, fresh green notes, and juicy raspberry. The top is my favorite part of the scent. It’s so vibrant and uplifting – the kind of opening that instantly puts you in a good mood. After a little while the fruits begin to mellow and the soft bouquet of jasmine, rose, violet, and apple blossom start to take centre stage. It’s still sweet and fruity with a bit of litchi intermingling with the flowers in the heart. It’s at this point of the fragrance that it starts to become more mature and sophisticated. It’s still youthful and flirty, but it’s a little more complex at this point. The heart lasts for about two or three hours before it starts to dry down into the base of the scent. Woodsy cedar and clean musk are sweetened by a touch of juicy plum. The end of the perfume is very clean and subtle. It doesn’t quite glitter with bright fruity notes like it does when you first spray it on, but it shimmers with just a bit of fruit and musk. It’s a very pleasant drydown and I feel like it really ties the different layers of the scent together.

Daisy Eau So Fresh is a great perfume for any occasion whether it’s formal or casual. It’s a very fresh, fruity scent that is especially suited for spring or summer. While it has a youthful vibe, Daisy Eau So Fresh is lovely on people of all ages – I wear it and so does my 76 year old great aunt. I’m a firm believer in the idea that perfume is ageless and that people should wear whatever scent they enjoy. It’s just a beautifully composed, perfectly blended, happy scent that puts me in a great mood whenever I wear it. If you were a fan of the original Daisy, or are just looking for a fun, fruity scent, I highly recommend that you give this gem a try.

Any Daisy/Daisy Eau So Fresh fans out there? Let me know what you think of this scent or if there are any perfumes you think that I should review next! 

xoxo,

Alicia

Let It Slide


It’s official: slides are THE shoe of the season. Whether they are sleek and streamlined or fully decked out in faux fur and bling – slides of all kinds are having a major moment. And with drool-worthy options from brands like Maryam Nasser Zadeh and Dolce Vita, it’s pretty much guaranteed that you’ll find a few pairs that you can’t live without. So here’s to effortless dressing, from head to peep toe. Check out 9 of my absolute favorite summer slides below. Keep on scrolling!

SLIDE PICKS


1 // Loeffler Randall – Vera Ruffle Block Heel Slide Sandals

2 // Barneys New York – Satin Double-Band Slide Sandal

3 // Maryam Nassir Zadeh – Lauren Slides

4 // Dolce Vita – Rilee Slides

5 // H&M – Faux Fur Slides

6 // Make Me Chic – Heart Eyes Emoji Slide Sandals

7 // Brother Vellies – Burkina Striped Bow Leather Slides

8 // Alexander Wang – Suede Lou Slides

9 // Donald J Pliner – Bold Suede Slide

xoxo,

Alicia

Non-Boring Low Calorie Cocktails


I’ll say it – I love a refreshing cocktail, especially as a way of relaxing after a long work day. And while I may enjoy a glass (or three) of crisp white wine or a frosty margarita, I do not enjoy the extra pounds that I gain after indulging in a few too many of those tasty bad boys. That being said, cocktails can be a part of a healthy diet. The key? Moderation and recipes that call for little to no added sugar. So without further ado, here are seven bevvies that you and your waistline will love! 


Photo and Recipe via My Crazy Good Life

1 // 100 Calorie Coconut Margarita 

Put the lime in the coconut but leave out the sugar. Using stevia instead of sugar cuts a ton of calories from this cocktail, while the coconut water is filled with antioxidants and electrolytes. Translation? The hangover and puffy face that many get after drinking won’t be a thing. Now that’s something to raise a glass to!

INGREDIENTS

  • Ice (crushed or cubes)
  • 1.5 oz Tequila
  • 1/2 Lime Juice 
  • 3 oz Coconut Water
  • *1 tbsp Stevia
  • Soda Water

Photo and Recipe via The Taylor House

2 // Fruity Moscato Wine Spritzer

Fresh fruit, fragrant Moscato, and soda water are the three main ingredients in this low cal recipe. This pretty poopsie is super flavourful but light. In other words, it’s the perfect summer sipper!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Bottle Moscato Wine
  • 1 Bottle of Soda Water
  • 1 Cup Diced Strawberries
  • Lemon Slices

Photo and Recipe via Pretty Providence

3 // Skinny Piña Colada Slushies

A piña colada that is not chock full of empty calories? This is not a drill. With coconut water and milk, sugar-free flavour drops and a bit of dark rum, this cocktail is every bit as delicious as the classic recipe, but is waaay healthier. Go ahead. Have another.

INGREDIENTS 

  • 2 Cups Sugar-Free Coconut Milk
  • 2 Cups Coconut Water
  • 2 Squirts Dasani Pineapple Coconut Drops
  • 2 oz Dark Rum


Photo and Recipe via bird + cleaver

4 // Wasabi Bloody Mary

With zero added sugar and vitamin rich tomato juice, this lighter take on the bloody mary is a savoury treat with a fiery kick. Some people say that spicy foods and drinks rev up your metabolism, but even if that’s not the case, this tasty drink is a much healthier option when you’re craving a ceaser or Bloody Mary. Drink your veggies!

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 oz Vodka
  • 12 oz Tomato Juice
  • 1/4 to 1/2 Teaspoon Wasabi 
  • 4- 6 Dashes Sriracha (to taste)
  • 1 oz Lime Juice
  • 4 Dashes Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 Pinches Celery Salt


Photo and Recipe via Peanut Butter & Peppers

5 // Skinny Watermelon Mojito

The only thing that can improve a refreshing, minty mojito? Sweet chunks of watermelon! Not only is this pink fruit super tasty, it’s also hydrating and filled with potassium. Sip this frosty treat with way less calories and zero guilt. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Cup Watermelon (seeded and chopped)
  • ½ Lime (juiced)
  • 4 Mint Leaves
  • Ice
  • 1 oz. White Rum 
  • Club Soda


Photo and Recipe via Camille Styles

6 // Fresh Grapefruit Greyhound 

If you’re not a fan of super sweet drinks, then this tart combination of grapefruit juice and vodka is sure to please your palate. Also, this refreshing drink is pretty easy on the waistline! A good rule of thumb when it comes to healthy eating (and drinking) – the fewer ingredients involved, the better. This recipe calls for only three and zero refined sugar. Bottoms up!

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 oz Vodka
  • 6 oz Freshly Squeezed Grapefruit Juice
  • 6 oz Club Soda


Photo and Recipe I Breathe I’m Hungry 

7 // Low Carb Sparkling White Wine Sangria

Stevia is kind of a magic ingredient when it comes to sugar replacements. It’s zero calories but it’s also all natural – no nasty aspartame here! I use it when baking and in my coffee. Why didn’t I think of using it to sweeten cocktails? It does the job perfectly and without a side of guilt. Add a little bit of this non-sugar-sugar to some bourbon, peaches (I prefer frozen), vodka, and mandarin soda water and you have a tangy toast that rivals your favorite belini. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 Cup Peaches (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 tbsp Lime Juice
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar-Free Mango Flavoured Syrup
  • 2 tbsp Granulated Stevia
  • 1/4 Cup Bourbon
  • 1/2 Cup Vodka
  • 24 oz Mandarin Flavoured Seltzer Water

I don’t know about you but it feels like cocktail hour! If you try any of these, let me know what you think! 

xoxo,

Alicia