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

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, 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

My Fall Fragrance Wardrobe

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In the same way that one updates their wardrobe in the Fall with cozy scarves, jackets, and sweaters, I like to curate a collection of perfumes to wear as the seasons change. Perfume has a powerful effect on people, more so than we ever realize. In the same way that the smell of baked apples and decomposing leaves instantly evokes feelings of Fall being here, ones favorite perfume appeals to the part of our brain that stores memories and can transport us emotionally to a different time or place. With this in mind, here are a few scents that I have chosen to include in my Autumn fragrance arsenal.

1.Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium 

Top Notes: mandarin, pink pepper, pear

Heart: jasmine, orange blossom, solar floral accord

Base: cedar-wood, patchouli, vanilla, coffee

This rich fragrance is undoubtedly delicious but is much more sophisticated than the majority of gourmand fragrances out there. Creamy vanilla is given a sultry edge with notes of coffee, patchouli and jasmine.

2.Armani Prive Rose d’Arabie Swarovski Edition

Notes: patchouli, vanilla, rose, agarwood

When it comes to art, fashion, food and fragrance, sometimes simplicity is what creates the most mesmerizing impression. Rose, patchouli and agarwood create a decadent veil that is made softer and slightly sweeter with just a touch of vanilla. Prive Rose d’Arabie is perfect for sultry evenings spent dreaming of exotic Arabian nights.

3. Olfactive Studio Still Life

Top Notes: yuzu, pink pepper, elemi, black pepper, sichuan pepper

Heart: galbanum, star anise

Base: Virginia cedar, amber, rum

Normally when I think of Autumn scents I think of the typical, cozy, bakery-esque smells – pumpkin pie, cinnamon, vanilla, amber, chocolate, woods. I have never seen rum in a fragrance before, but when combined with spicy star anise it adds a sweetness to the scent that is unlike your usual sugary Fall-fare. Yuzu, black pepper and cedar adds a freshness to the scent that makes Still Life as complex and compelling as an olfactory poem.

4. Giorgio Armani Si Intense

Top Notes: blackcurrant, neo jungle essence, freesia, bergamot

Heart: rose, neroli

Base: vanilla, fir, patchouli, benzoin

Si Intense is my favorite fragrance for Fall. Vanilla, fir, benzoin and black currant come together to create a scent reminiscent of crisp, walks in the forest and moments spent warming up in front of a smoky fire. Its soft and unusual, uplifting and cozy, capturing everything I love about Autumn.

5.Vince Camuto Perfume for Women

Top Notes: osmanthus, rum

Heart: jasmine, rose, leather

Base: musk, amber, patchouli, vanilla

When it comes to genres of perfume, florals have always been my least favorite. Its not that I don’t like floral fragrances, its just that so many of them smell so similar. It’s as if there is a carefully measured formula for florals that perfumers refuse to veer away from. With unconventional ingredients such as rum and leather, this otherwise traditional bouquet of rose and jasmine is given an intoxicating update that is at once edgy and romantic.

6. Kate Spade Walk on Air

Top Notes: linden blossom, maidens hair fern, solomons seal, calabrese bergamot, tunisian neroli

Heart: lily of the valley, magnolia grandiflora, egyptian jasmine, narcissus absolute orpur

Base: crinum lily, white iris, violet leaf absolute orpur

Powdery and romantic, this opulent bouquet of lily of the valley, magnolia, jasmine, and violet reminds me of a vintage eau de parfum. One that would be kept in a beautiful glass bottle with an atomizer and that would sit on a elegant mahogany dresser. This dusky scent is utterly glamorous and classic.

xoxo,

Alicia

August Beauty Picks

August Beauty Picks

August is usually the hottest month of the summer and because of this my beauty routine has begun to center around hydration of both my hair and skin. As glorious as days spent by the beach can be, all of the saltwater, sand and sun can really do a nasty number on one’s complexion and hair. With this in mind, here are five of my favorite products this month.

1. The Balm Cosmetics – Balm Desert Bronzer/Blush

As someone with a very fair, almost translucent complexion, bronzer is an absolute staple in my beauty arsenal. While there are a lot of great options out there, I am incredibly choosy when it comes to what I use on my face. Overly warm, orangey hues and glitter flecked, shimmery formulas are my biggest bronzer pet peeves. What I love about this product is that it does double duty as both a bronzer and blush creating a gorgeous, flushed glow that perfectly imitates a natural, sun-kissed complexion. It’s incredibly long lasting and neither sweat, sunblock nor sea spray will make it budge.

2. LUSH Cosmetics – The Sacred Truth Fresh Face Mask

I have been a fan of LUSH cosmetics for a while. I love that they use all natural, fresh ingredients and that everything is always created in an ethical and sustainable way (in fact a lot of LUSH products support various social causes around the world, such as their Charity Pot lotions which gives 100% of its proceeds to its designated cause). The first of their products that I have ever tried was one of their fresh face masks. Made with real fruits, vegetable, clays and oils, these masks have a short shelf-life of about two weeks and need to be refrigerated at all times. While some may find that to be inconvenient, I love the indulgent feeling of putting these cool masks on my face directly from the fridge. I have tried every single one of LUSH’s masks and most of them are very effective and create visible results. Sacred Truth is a very rich, moisturizing, nourishing mask made with ingredients such as papaya, wheat grass, matcha green tea and egg. It has recently been brought back onto the shelf after being pulled to be reformulated. This is an extremely hydrating, sweet smelling mask that gives the skin a healthy, bright glow. It’s a great mask to use all year round, to cool sun-burnt skin and to quench, parched winter complexions. This is one of my all time favorite LUSH masks, along with Catastrophe Cosmetic (the calamine, rose and blueberry laden holy grail of face masks).

3. Vasanti Cosmetics – BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator

If there is one step in my skin care routine that I strive to be vigilant about, it’s regular, gentle exfoliation. As a teenager I had a terrible experience using St.Ives Apricot scrub. The ultra-abrasive, crushed walnut shells irritated my skin and created microscopic tears in my skin which led to an overgrowth of bacteria and an acne breakout like I had never had before and have never had since (I know that there are many people who love St.Ives Apricot scrub but I wouldn’t recommend it to my worst enemy and no esthetician I have ever spoken to about it has ever had anything nice to say. One woman I spoke to said that it is so harsh of a scrub that the only appropriate way to use it is on one’s calloused feet).Because of this experience, for years I had avoided products that promised any kind of exfoliation like that plague. After being told by an esthetician that my skin was congested due to a lack of exfoliation, I began gently exfoliating with non-abrasive, enzymatic products. What I love about this one is that it is very gentle – the papaya enzymes loosen dead skin cells while the incredibly fine micro crystals delicately polish them away. It is also very effective when used two or three times a week and anytime I feel like my skin is getting a bit congested, this cleanser clears it right up, like a great smelling, soothing buffer for my face. It smooths away blackheads, flakes, and can even reduce the appearance of fine lines, enlarged pores and an uneven skin tone. I discovered this in my Birchbox this month and have every intention of buying a full sized version. I would highly recommend this to anyone, especially those with sensitive or blemish-prone skin.

4. Essie – Nail Lacquer in Peach Side Babe

There’s no better summer accessory than a glossy manicure and pedicure in a cheerful, tropical inspired colour. I love this new shade from Essie’s Summer 2015 collection. Its creamy, Georgia peach inspired shade will warm up any complexion and transitions easily from summer to fall, evoking images of fiery-hued, crunchy leaves, just as easily as it does sun-ripened fruit from a summer’s orchard. I will be donning this playful, yet sophisticated shade all the way through till September.

5. RUSK Hair Care Heatshift Re-Styling Cream

My hair is extremely curly and therefore constantly drenched in some sort of serum, gel, or cream just so that it is manageable and doesn’t become a complete ecosystem of its own. I love to straighten my hair, if not to get perfectly pin straight strands, but to turn my tight spiral curls into loose, beachy waves. Because of all of the heated torture that I put my hair through, I try to use products that are made from heat-styling and this is my favorite of all of the ones I have tried so far. It is hydrating without being heavy, light without being sticky and it keeps my hair from breaking. I have been able to see a visible improvement in the healthy of my hair (almost no breakage). The fact that this stuff smells absolutely delicious is the cherry on top.

Are there any products that you are particularly loving right now? I am always on the hunt for new lotions and potions so please feel free to let me know!

xoxo,

Alicia