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.

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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

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March Beauty Picks

Spring beauty for me is all about flawless, dewy skin, bright lips and a sense of playfulness, whether that’s an unexpected swipe of sea foam eyeshadow or a candy-coloured manicure. My skin has just recovered from a breakout of epic proportions and that’s all down to two holy-grail products in this list. Trust me, I’m a skincare junkie, and these are the cream of the crop.

1 // SAND & SKY – Purifying Pink Clay Mask

Not only does this mask work like a charm but it actually looks pretty while in action. Comprised of a Australian pink clay, it draws out excess oil, dirt, dead skin cells and other impurities, leaving your complexion smooth, clear, and matte. Plus, the petal pink hue is completely insta-worthy.

2 // Mellow Cosmetics – Passion Matte Lipstick in Light Pink

This may just be my favorite pink lipstick of all time. The formula is moisturizing and creamy but it dries to a velvety matte finish. Also the hue is pretty much perfect. It’s a light, rosy pink that makes me complexion look fresh and awake instead of ruddy or washed out like so many pink lipsticks do. A perfect ten – and I have a massive selection of lipsticks!

3 // Tarte – Sex Kitten Eyeliner in Black

My biggest beauty pet peeve is when my eyeliner runs and smudges into a racoon-ish mess within a couple of hours of me putting it on. I absolutely ADORE this formula (although honestly, Tarte rarely puts out a product I don’t love) because it glides on smooth and stays crisp and defined by the end of the day. It’s highly pigmented and the tip is super precise so this is my go-to for cat-eyes and when I want to fine-line my peepers. It’s a little pricey, but when you consider how well it works and that you only have to apply it ONCE in the day, it’s totally worth it.

4 // Kester Black – Nail Polish in Violet

Vibrant and sweet, this candy-esque lacquer reminds me of shiny hard candies – the kind my grandma would keep in a pretty bowl on the coffee table. This shade is not at all the subtle nude or french tips I usually go for, but it’s a great way to add a playful hit of colour that screams spring!

5 // Juice Beauty – Green Apple Peel Sensitive Exfoliating Mask

As someone with very sensitive, fair skin that’s prone to discolouration, I place a lot of importance on exfoliation in my skincare routine. Rough, abrasive scrubs just make my complexion red and irritated, so this gentle but effective peel is a favourite of mine. Packed full of fruit-derived alpha hydroxy acids and glycolic acid, this sweet-smelling gel breaks down dead skin cells and promotes collagen production and cell turn-over. Not only does this prevent breakouts but it helps to fade marks and enhance your skins natural glow. I use this twice a week and I absolutely love it. If you’re someone who finds traditional scrubs to be harsh for your skin, give this celebrity-approved product a try.

What beauty products are you obsessed with right now? Let’s chat makeup and skincare – I can’t get enough.

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

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

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

January Beauty Picks

January Beauty Picks

January Beauty Picks

From an incredibly moisturizing shampoo that smells like a Caribbean vacation, to the perfect crimson lip stain, here are the five products that I have become obsessed with this month.

1 // Dermalogica – Gentle Cream Exfoliant

I am a little bit high maintenance when it comes to my skin care routine. My bedroom looks like a chemist’s lab with pots and potions covering the majority of my dresser. Whether my complexion is calling for a deep cleanse one day or extra hydration the next,Β I like to have a variety of cleansers, moisturizers, masks, serums, oils, and exfoliants to use depending on my skin’s behavior on any given day. One step I never skip is exfoliation. People underestimate how powerful the effects of exfoliation are, but by scrubbing (or dissolving) away dead skin once or twice a week, the skin glows and is able to breathe, free of dead cells and debris. This very gentle exfoliating cream from Dermalogica (one of my absolute favorite skin care brands) uses lactic acid and hydroxy acid to loosen and detach dead skin cells. It goes on like a light mask, is non abrasive and is scent free. For those who find scrubs and mechanical exfoliants to be irritating, this gentle but powerful product will transform your complexion.

2 // The Body Shop – Vitamin E Overnight Serum-In-Oil

Some people are reluctant about applying oil to their skin for fear of causing breakouts. I used to have that concern but now I can’t get enough of oils, whether I am using coconut oil to deep cleanse my face or this delightful antioxidant packed oil-in-serum to replenish the moisture in my parched skin. With wheatgerm, jojoba, sunflower, marula, sesame and soya oils, this is like a vitamin enriched smoothie for your skin. Designed to heal and rejuvenate the skin, it gives the skin a rested and glowy look that can normally only be achieved with 8 hours or more of sleep. It’s also non-greasy and smells delightful.

3 // TONYMOLY – Delight Tony Tint in Red

While normally I am a lipstick gal, I really love the natural, just bitten look of a lip stain. This formula by TONYMOLY is fantastic. While the texture is very runny and can be a bit dangerous (apply with a mirror; I tried to put this on while riding the skytrain and it dripped and my boyfriend thought my lips were bleeding and looked horrified) it stays put all day once it dries. Use a little for a natural, “I just ate a popsicle” look or apply more for a vivid, ruby red pout. It has a nice, subtly fruity scent and is chock full of vitamins and nourishing ingredients such as aragan and rose hip oil. The only drawback is that it is not very moisturizing, not that anyone should expect a matte lip stain to be moisturizing.

4 // Lush – Curly Wurly Coconut Shampoo

Since I have stopped using foaming, sulfate laden shampoos, I have seen a huge difference in my very curly, very dry hair. I am a huge fan of nearly every Lush product I have tried and this all-natural shampoo is no exception. Made with creamed coconut, coconut oil, avocado butter and eggs, Curly Wurly is richly moisturizing and very nourishing for dry, damaged hair. I would not recommend this shampoo for everyone as it is extremely hydrating and heavy. A little bit of this goes a very long way when it comes to cleansing. It has completely transformed my hair and I am amazed at how much healthier my hair has become. While it still tends to be a bit dry, it is a lot softer and more manageable with very few split ends. This is a game-changing product for anyone with dry, curly, or chemical treated hair.

5 // Urban Decay – Naked Smokey Eye Shadow Palette

Urban Decay’s Naked Smokey eye shadow palette has earned itself a stellar reputation among beauty bloggers and aficionados and with good reason. These highly pigmented, silky shadows blend like no body’s business. With 12 colours (six metallic shades and six matte shades) the possibilities of looks, from a soft and natural neutral eye, to a smoldering smokey eye, are endless.

xoxo,

Alicia

december-beauty-picks

December Beauty Picks

december-beauty-picks

As we are in the middle of winter, keeping my complexion from looking like a parched, flaky, blotchy mess is my main beauty priority. Skin quenching masks and serums help one battle the icy winter chill, preventing irritation and chapped skin and keeping it dewy. Also, as the holidays are coming up, party preparation is in order and there is nothing like a glittering eye shadow or luminescent blush and bronzer set to transform one into a winter goddess. Stay warm, moisturized and lovely this winter.

1 // Dr. Jart + Ceramidin Liquid

Hydration is key to healthy skin. I have combination skin and I used to be weary of moisturizing my skin because I had the common but wrong idea that if my skin was too hydrated it would break out. Now that I moisturize my skin regularly, I notice that my breakouts have decreased and my complexion is a lot more balanced (when skin is irritated and dry it overproduces sebum to counteract this dryness). This light as air serum is chock full of aloe, licorice root, and ceramide (a component that time releases moisture). It protects the skin’s natural moisture barrier, keeping it plump, hydrated and soft. After cleansing with coconut oil (it sounds counter intuitive but oil cleaning does wonders for removing makeup, dirt and oil from the skin), I will spritz on some ylang-ylang floral hydrosol and then follow it up with this serum. It sinks right in and I swear, since using this my skin hasn’t been dry once and its the middle of December.

2 // Peter Thomas Roth – Cucumber Gel Mask

As a self-proclaimed mask addict, I love indulging in a luxurious face mask at the end of the day. Nothing is quite as refreshing or satisfying as melting away the day’s grime with a cleansing, nourishing mask. Usually it is recommended that one only uses a mask a maximum two or three times a week. I tend to use them more (and have had no issues, but everyone’s skin is different) and usually alternate hydrating masks with deep cleansing so that I am not irritating or drying out my skin. What I love about this particular gem by Peter Thomas Roth (a new favorite of mine – I also adore the brand’s anti-aging cleansing gelΒ as well) is that it is so gentle I can indulge in my daily mask habit without any fear of my skin freaking out. With an abundance of antioxidants and fruity extracts of cucumber, chamomile, papaya, pineapple, sugar maple, bilberry, aloe, lemon and orange, this ultra-hydrating mask soothes, cleanses and nourishes, giving the complexion a plump, quenched appearance and dewy glow. I keep mine in the fridge so its even more soothing after a long day.

3 // LOC One & Done Shadow Stick Trio – Rise & Shine

This shimmeryΒ shadow trio has become a favorite of mine. They glide on easily with a creamy texture and are highly pigmented. My favorite colour is Day Trip (a soft shade of fawn) and it is great for every day as just a pale, glimmering backdrop for curled, mascaraed lashes or paired with ruby red lips for a glamorous, Hollywood siren look.

4 // E.L.F Studio Bronzer in Golden Bronzer

My complexion is quite fair and I like to add a bit of bronzer just to keep my skin looking warm, healthy and awake. I used to spend more money on my bronzers because I wanted to avoid the artificial, orange, shimmery look that so many bronzers give. I have tried higher end brands like M.A.C, Urban Decay, Estee Lauder, and Benefit and yet this cheap little palette outperforms them all. This bronze has a light shimmer which initially put me off of purchasing it but after a coworker of mine (who always has the most gorgeous, glowy face) recommended it to me (and told me that it was only five dollars) I bought it. The shimmer is fine and just lends a soft, illuminated look that is actually very natural. With a bronzer, peachy blush (that mimics a natural flush), highlighter and a darker, soft chocolate shade for contouring, this compact has everything one needs to create a warm, natural looking glow.

5 // Salon Gioje Keratin Protein Mask

My hair is ridiculously dry. I have very curly, fine hair and it’s prone to damage if I so much as blow dry my hair. To keep my hair from looking like torched straw, I go out of my way to hydrate it, using loads of conditioner, coconut oil, and this rich, protein rich mask. Protein, keratin and amino acids make this formula as nourishing as it is hydrating. My hair routine is as follows: moisturize hair with coconut oil the night before I wash my hair (I wrap it in a bun and sleep with it in my hair, letting it soak in), I condition my hair before I shampoo (seriously), I shampoo my roots and leave the ends alone, and then I run this mask through my hair like any other conditioner, put a shower cap over it and let it soak in for ten minutes and then I rinse it all out and put leave in conditioner in. Β It’s all very high-maintenance, I know, but it does keep my naturally dry, curly hair as soft and hydrated as it is ever going to get. I find this mask even reduces the amount of split ends I get in between hair cuts. I am not crazy about the scent (it smells like an older man’s cologne mixed with eucalyptus) but it works so well that I can forgive it. Curly haired ladies, this is a must try.

xoxo,

Alicia