September Beauty Picks


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

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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


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