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

Cotton Candy 


You know what they say – if you’re gonna think, think pink. Sugary shades of bubble gum and cotton candy pink will sweeten even the blandest of outfits. Even if this girly hue isn’t normally your cup of tea, it can be given an edgy update with lace cut-outs (check out the romper below), sexy hardware and edgy prints. Not ready to become a full-fledged pink lady? A sultry pair of pale pink kitten heels or a dab of shimmery rose eyeshadow are all you need to add a dose of playful femininity to your look without looking like Little Bo Peep. It’s my personal opinion that pink looks awesome on everyone and this fairy-floss inspired colour will instantly brighten up your face and make you look fresh and awake. Afterall, they don’t call it ‘pretty in pink’ for nothing! Scroll on for ten of my favorite fashion and beauty picks in summer’s sweetest shade.

COTTON CANDY PICKS


1 // Boohoo – Ellie Heart Pink Lens Sunglasses

2 // Monki – Stretch Cotton Playsuit

3 // N’Damus London – Mini Pink Leather Satchel

4 // Baja East – Pink Fila Edition Shearling Drifter Slides

5 // Humble Chic NY – Pom Pom Statement Hoops

6 // Smith & Cult – The Shining Lip Lacquer in Her Name Bubbles

7 // Guishem – Nail Lacquer in Paris Pink

8 // ZACASHA – Baby Pink Crystal & Silvertone Cotton Candy Choker

9 // Sugar Milk – Cotton Candy Whipped Body Butter

10 // Ariana Grande – Sweet Like Candy Eau de Perfume
xoxo,

Alicia

Aqua


I’ve got a serious case of the summer blues, but in the best way possible. Nothing pops against a sunkissed complexion more than cool shades of turquoise, aquamarine and sky-blue. So go ahead and incorporate this refreshing hue into your home, wardrobe, and beauty routine. Think that blue makeup belongs in the 80s? Think again. Slick on a stripe of cobalt eyeliner, paint your nails periwinkle, or take a walk on avante-garde avenue with a bit of matte blue lipstick. This aqueous palette flatters all skin tones so it’s pretty much impossible to go wrong. While temperatures soar, I’ll be staying nice and cool in airy sundresses and swimsuits, all in ocean-inspired shades. I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling blue.


AQUA PICKS


1 // Make Up Forever – Aqua XL Ink Eye Liner

2 // Kate Spade New York – Silicone Duffy Square Watch

3 // Claudia Pierlot – Off The Shoulder Frill Sleeve Dress

4 // Lilly Pulitzer – Coraline Necklace in Seaside Aqua

5 // Luxury Days – Striped Top With Button Tab Sleeves

6 // River Island – Aqua Green Saddle Stitch Bikini Top

7 // Loeffler Randall – Sylvia Sandals

8 // Humble Chic NY – Carousel Pom Pom Dangles

9 // Paddywax – Ocean Tide & Sea Salt Jar Candle

10 // Mar y Sol – Ibiza Woven Tote in Aqua

xoxo,

Alicia

Five Hair Masks That Work Like A Charm

Even if you weren’t cursed, I mean blessed, with super dry curly hair like me, everyone can benefit from introducing a hair mask into their beauty routine. Especially in the summer when chlorine, saltwater and UV rays wreak havoc on your hair. There are tons of masks out there for all different hair types and needs. These four are my favorites and I can promise you, you actually will notice a difference after using them. Say bye to split-ends and hello to silky bunny hair.


1 // Christophe Robin – Regenerating Hair Mask with Rare Prickly Pear Seed Oil

Okay, I’ll be honest – what first attracted me to this line of hair products was the name. My boyfriend’s name is Chris but I always call him Christopher Robin (like the annoying girlfriend I am) and so my initial reason for trying this mask was pure novelty. That being said, I was pleasantly surprised to find that this deeply hydrating, deliciously scented mask left my parched, curly hair soft and shiny after just one use. Enriched with pure prickly pear seed oil, this rich formula quenches dry, frizzy strands and leaves it smelling lovely.

2 // Living Proof – Restore Mask Treatment

Even though I haven’t dyed my hair in six months, the bleach from my balayage has still left my hair more dry and brittle than it had ever been before. This rejuvenating mask is filled with hair nourishing butters and a unique OFPMA molecule which replenishes moisture levels in the hair and repairs damage. It is very rich so I don’t use it all the time, but when I want hydration like nothing else, this is my go-to.

3 // Amika – Nourishing Hair Mask

This yummy smelling mask is like an antioxidant-packed power smoothie for your hair. It’s chock full of brightening vitamin C, thanks to its main ingredient – Sea Buckthorn. Softening jojoba oil thoroughly  moisturizers strands, smoothing frizz and making your mane super shiny.

4 // Briogeo – Repair Deep Conditioning Mask

I received a sample of this mask in an Ipsy bag a while ago and I instantly fell in love. It has a really light, almost gel-like consistency but does wonders for damaged, brittle hair. A lot of the same nutrients your body requires to be healthy, your hair needs too! Give your tresses a huge dose of B vitamins, biotin, algae and vitamin C with this do-it-all hair holy grail.
5 // Garnier – Whole Blends Honey Treasures Repairing Mask
Although I don’t love the packaging of Garnier’s new ‘Whole Blends’ hair care line, I adore the products that I have tried so far, in particular this creamy, sweet as dessert hair mask. It’s packed full on honey, as well as one of my favorite super foods, royal jelly. I also love how low maintenance this is. Simply smooth is onto your hair after shampooing, wait a few minutes, and then rinse it out. Boom – effortless mermaid hair in a blink of an eye.

Have you tried any of these? What are your favorite masks? Let me know in the comments!

xoxo,

Alicia

Scent Saturday | Linde Berlin by Frau Tonis


NAME OF FRAGRANCE | Linde Berlin by Frau Tonis

NOTES | Lime Blossom, Lime Tree Leaves, Honey

VIBE | Innocent, Airy, Refined, Delicate, Feminine

One of my favorite things about perfume is the way that it can transport me to a certain time or place. For example, the smell of Acqua Di Gio for Men by Armani instantly reminds me of when my boyfriend and I first started dating – I got into his car on our first date, he gave me a hug and I knew pretty instantly that I liked him. I still remember those first feelings when I smell his fresh, aquatic scent. When I smell Linde Berlin, it takes me back to our trip to Germany last year and the unique sights smells, and energy of the city. Berlin is filled with lime trees and linden blossoms – the main notes of this delicate floral perfume – and when I put it on I feel like I’m back in that beautiful city, strolling past historic and modern buildings, and taking in the stunning sights. It’s not a perfume that I wear everyday because it’s special to me and I want to savour every drop. It is a beautiful perfume though, and has a delicate floral aroma that is airy and pleasing.

Most fragrances evolve quite a bit from the top to the base, but Linde Berlin stays pretty much the same throughout the entire experience. This is not necessarily a bad thing because it is lovely. Lime tree leaves, lime blossoms and honey are the only three notes that compose the fragrance and they compliment eachother beautifully, resulting in a scent that is lightly floral with a tough of sweetness and dewy greenery. Lime blossoms (or linden blossoms as they are also frequently called) have a very soft aroma, and it’s rare that they are the main florals in a perfume. When they are mixed among a bouquet of other flowers, they tend to get pushed aside by stronger flowers like jasmine or rose. Lime blossoms take centre stage in Linde Berlin, and their slightly fruity scent is finally allowed to shine. The herbaceous smell of honey enhances the sweetness of the flowers and balances out the green lime tree leaves. Linde Berlin reminds me of a sunny Berlin morning, taking a stroll through a dewy garden.

This is not a show stopping or particularly sexy or flirty scent. It is feminine but with an innocence about it that makes it feel more casual. I wouldn’t wear this on a night out but it’s perfect as an everyday fragrance. It’s super light and inoffensive which makes it ideal for the office, a wedding, or anytime that you want to feel elegant and understated. It’s not a head turner, but it is a lovely floral confection that is timeless and refined. It’s one of my favorite floral fragrances and it will always be special to me because of its sentimental value. Like a white eyelet lace dress or soft angora cardigan, Linde Berlin is a ladylike classic that is always beautiful, no matter what the occasion is.

What’s your favorite floral fragrance? Have you tried any other perfumes from Frau Tonis? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

xoxo,

Alicia

Scent Saturday | Akazie by Frau Tonis


NAME OF FRAGRANCE | Akazie by Frau Tonis Parfum Berlin

NOTES | Acacia, Wood Notes, Mimosa, Moss, Powder

VIBE | Elegant, Sophisticated, Aldehydic, Luxurious, Chic, Vintage

A few months back I did a review on another perfume from Frau Tonis called Veilchen and I promised then that I would review the other two scents I bought in Berlin called Linde Berlin and Akazie. I’m finally getting around to reviewing Akazie, another scent out of my Frau Tonis trio, and so without further ado, here it goes.

Let my start by saying that Akazie is not a perfume that will appeal to everyone. It’s very powdery and aldehydic, two olfactory qualities that are usually associated with the phrase ‘smells like an old lady’. Other examples of aldehydic perfumes (if you’re unsure what I mean) include Chanel No. 5 and Elizabeth Taylor’s White Diamonds. If you have smelled these scents you know that while they are classics, they’re not to everyone’s taste. Some aldehydic perfumes are very heavy and overpowering, choking you out with the synthetic smell of abstract florals and powder. Others, like Akazie, use this chemical note in a beautifully subtle way that enhances the other flowers in the perfume’s composition. If they are done right, the aldehydes add a vintage charm and complexity to an otherwise simple array of notes. Akazie has been blended beautifully and the florals and powdery notes are perfectly balanced.

When I first spray on Akazie, the mimosa and oak moss stand out the most. At this point the fragrance is incredibly feminine and elegant. It reminds me of a perfume that an Old-Hollywood starlet would wear. Mimosa is the star of the show here and remains the most prominent note throughout the entire fragrance experience. I’ve always loved mimosa, and it smells true to nature in this scent. When Akazie dries down (after around five hours), all that’s left on my skin is a soft, mossy floral smell and this is the part of the fragrance I love the most. It’s just so soft and delicate. Chypre-floral fragrances are my favorite perfume genre and this one is a real gem. 

Frau Tonis makes truly stunning scents and Akazie is no exception. Centering around the sweet perfume of mimosa, this chypre-floral fragrance is utterly unique and timelessly elegant. Because of its aldehydic undertones, it may not appeal to everyone. If you prefer super sweet, fruity confections, this may not be your cup of tea. If you love florals and perfume classics like Chanel 5, then this will be right up your alley. It’s not an everyday perfume but is perfect for special and more formal occasions. Like a luxe strand of pearls, Akazie has a refined beauty that is absolutely timeless. 

Alicia

DIY Stress Relieving Whipped Body Butter


Photo via Poppy Talk 

In the interest of full disclosure, here’s a little tidbit of information about me – I’m as high strung as they come and have battled varying degrees of anxiety for years. I’ve been a chronic worrier since I was a kid, and while some days are more challenging than others, I do feel that over the years I have found a few things that make me feel better and keep me calm. Some of these things include yoga, going for a brisk walk, painting, or lighting scented candles and taking a bath. These are little comforts for me and I believe that self-pampering and aromatherapy really help to soothe my mind and body. I love essential oils and I find that certain scents have an especially positive effect on my mood. Lavender, rose, ylang-ylang, and vanilla are my favorites and when they are combined, they instantly send me to dreamland. Essential oils also have a lot of effective beautifying properties as well, so what better way is there to reap their stress-relieving benefits than by using them to make an all natural body butter? This particular recipe results in a rich, whipped texture that reminds me of white chocolate mousse, although trust me, you don’t want to eat it. With only two ingredients comprising the actual body butter, it is really easy to make, and you can totally customize this recipe with your own essential oil combinations if you’re not a fan of my soothing blend. It’s totally up to you! Read on for a stress-free mind and super soft skin!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Cup Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Shea Butter
  • 3 Drops Rose Absolute
  • 1 Tsp Rose Water
  • 1 Drop Frankincense Essential Oil
  • 1 Drop Lavender Essential Oil
  • 1 Drop Vanilla Absolute
  • 1 Drop Ylang-Ylang Essential Oil

DIRECTIONS

1 // Measure the coconut oil (it should be solid) and shea butter into a medium bowl. Add rose water and stir with a spoon until well blended.

2 // Blend the buttery mixture with egg beaters or a hand mixer until soft peaks start to form. Set aside. 

3 // Add essential oils to your partially whipped mixture. Blend further until stiff peaks form.

4 // Spoon mixture into an empty and clean mason jar. Store in a cool dry place. If you’re giving it away as a gift, feel free to dress the jar up with dried rose petals, lavender buds, ribbon, and/or twine. Get creative! 

5 // Enjoy your gorgeously floral scented, silky smooth skin!

If you give this a try, let me know what your verdict is! Also, I’m always on the lookout for beauty DIYs, so please let me in on a few of your favorites!

xoxo,

Alicia