5 Red Lipsticks for Under $15 To Help You Channel Your Inner Old-Hollywood Siren

Is there anything more glamorous or bold that a red lip? It’s the beauty go-to of effortlessly stylish French women, retro Hollywood starlets and film noir femme fatales. Not everybody feels comfortable rocking a scarlet pout, but after a few tries, I have a feeling even the most sceptical will become believers. Even if I’m not wearing a stitch of makeup, I put on a swipe of red lipstick. It instantly makes one look put together and it brightens up the face like nothing else. Despite the notion that makeup needs to be expensive and from Sephora to be high-quality, these five lipsticks rival even the most coveted brands in terms of look, feel, and longevity. The best part? They retail for less than $15. Because beauty shouldn’t bring you to bankruptcy.


1 // Maybelline – Superstay Long-Lasting Matte Liquid Lipstick in Pioneer

I say this in the most complimentary way possible – I am not convinced that this stuff can’t be used as furniture varnish. It goes on as a glossy liquid (that smells like vanilla) and then dries to a plush matte finish. It’s not too drying, which I love, and it lasts forever. I truly have to scrub vigorously at the end of the day to get it off, which some may consider to be a negative, but I love that I hardly ever have to reapply. It’s also totally kiss, meal and nap-proof. I’ve done the leg-work.

2 // L’Oréal Paris – Colour Riche Matte Lipstick in Blake’s Red

As further proof that Blake Lively has the best style ever and can do no wrong, this sensual red is the most flattering shade I own. It’s subtle blue undertones make my skin glow and my teeth look whiter (a helpful tip – blue undertones equals a much brighter smile). It’s also very hydrating. I wear it anytime with anything. It’s classic and works for the office but also has a glamorous retro feel that is perfect for night.

3 // ColourPop – Disney Designer Collection Crème Lux Lipstick in Snow White

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Snow White is my favourite princess. She’s just such an ultra-feminine babe with the best style – case in point, her penchant for a ruby red pout. So obviously when I saw this lipstick from ColourPop’s Disney Designer Collection, I had to press ‘add to cart’. It’s a deep crimson with a barely there sheen that isn’t glossy but adds a dimension that matte lipsticks can’t achieve. ColourPop, as usual, knocks it out of the park with this lipstick. It’s highly pigmented and doesn’t fade for hours on end. Just as magical as Snow White.

4 // Maybelline – Colour Sensational Lipstick in Are You Red-dy?

This stuff is so hydrating you would think it was a lip balm. It also smells delish – kind of like buttercream icing. I love this garnet-like hue and the glossy finish. It has dark blue undertones which I love because some red lipsticks are far too orange for my skin tone. My only critique – it’s so moisturizing and glossy that it tends to bleed a bit. Make sure to use a mirror when you apply and blot to avoid a makeout mouth.

5 // Revlon – Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor Moisturizing Lipstick in Romance

Lightweight yet richly pigmented, this wax-free formula goes on like a sheer, airy veil and dries to a velvety finish that makes my lips look lush and full. In terms of longevity, it’s kind of average but it is very moisturizing. This bright red hue is ultra-glamorous with a coquettish old-Hollywood feel that I simply adore.

Are you a fan of red lipstick? Which one is your go-to?

xoxo,

Alicia

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Scent Saturday | Ayalitta By Ayala Moriel

COMPANY | Ayala Moriel Parfums

NAME OF FRAGRANCE | Ayalitta

NOTES | Galbanum, Sage, Neroli, Jasmine, Rose, Clary Sage, Patchouli, Oakmoss, Labdanum

Soft and earthy with a delicate innocence, Ayalitta was the first perfume by indie perfumer Ayala Moriel I ever owned, and to this day, is one my all time favourites. I have always had a soft spot for chypres, a fact that surprised Ayala when I first met her. I was seventeen at the time and I think she expected me to prefer sugary gourmands or saccharine fruity-florals like most young girls do (no judgements towards those who love sweet scents – there are a few that I enjoy too!). After learning that I loved earthy, green fragrances, Ayala so kindly gifted me with a bottle of Ayalitta. Not to be cliché, but it truly was love at first sniff. It’s everything I love in a perfume. It’s soft yet enchanting. It creates an impression that is at once familiar yet totally unusual. I could bathe in Ayalitta’s elegant composition of earthy oakmoss, sweet neroli and intoxicating galbanum.

Like a playful woodland pixie, Ayalitta lightly traipses onto the scene with notes that evoke images of a damp forest floor, strewn with sweetly smelling fallen leaves. Galbanum, sage and neroli create this impression, immediately revealing Ayalitta as a stunning chypre. There’s something about the opening of this scent that almost smells aldehydic, reminding me briefly of other iconic perfumes like Chanel Nº 19 or Oscar by Oscar De La Renta. That being said, because Ayalitta is comprised only of all natural essences, there’s nothing about it that smells heavy or artificial. It’s got a vintage quality but still smells current.

The heart of Ayalitta is when it really begins to bloom into something breathtaking – no pun intended. Opulent rose dances with the rich, almost carnal aroma of jasmine before collapsing on a soft bed of clary sage. It reminds me of sunbaked earth and wet wildflowers, soaked by autumn rain. It smells comforting and it soothes me when I’m having a stressful day. It recreates the feeling I get when I’m in nature – sometimes just a sniff of the bottle is enough to lift up my spirits when I’m feeling down. Ayala was right on the money when she picked this scent for me. There are a lot of perfumes I love from her collection, but there’s something truly special about Ayalitta.

Like the saying goes, all good things must come to an end, and Ayalitta does so beautifully. Oakmoss, labdanum, and patchouli are all that’s left on the skin at the fragrance’s conclusion. Patchouli has a soil-like scent that pairs perfectly with damp, green oakmoss before fading into the sweet, slightly spicy scent of labdanum. From start to finish, Ayalitta is a magical experience. It’s sensual and soothing. It’s honestly perfect for any season, but there is something about its fresh green notes and earthiness that feels especially at home in the fall. I’m wearing it right now and am cocooned in a beautiful blanket of delicate flowers and dewy leaves. Like all things of quality and beauty, Ayalitta just gets better with time.

xoxo,

Alicia

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July Beauty Picks

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This summer my beauty routine has been all about clear, hydrated skin, punchy lip colours, and SPF, SPF, SPF! Keep scrolling to see which skincare item banished my breakouts, and which makeup product I can’t stop pulling out of my makeup bag. Beach goddess beauty essentials in 5, 4, 3, 2………

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1 // Doucce – Luscious Lip Stain in Passion Peach

Light and airy, this highly pigmented stain feels like absolutely nothing on my lips and lasts forever. Seriously. It withstands through my first and second cup of coffee, my breakfast and lunch (with a few kisses from my boyfriend here and there) without needing to be reapplied. It’s a touch drying, but a swipe of lip balm is all that’s needed to remedy this minor flaw. Although Doucce carries a tons of gorgeous shades, I particularly love this face brightening hue – a mix of juicy peach and vibrant coral.

2 // Nomads Essentials – High Intensity Face Creme

Some people love essential oils in their skin care, others hate them for a variety of different reasons. Personally, I find that certain oils – witch hazel, tea tree, lavender and neroli – do wonders for the clarity of my complexion. I have been suffering from breakouts on my chin and cheeks for the past couple of months and the introduction of this facial cream, which is packed with beneficial oils like frankincense, rose geranium, lavender, and rose, has completely cleared up my skin. Like I have nary a blemish on my deeply hydrated, silky smooth face. It also smells lovely, like the herbaceous, soothing smell of a spa. It’s all made by hand by a lovely woman on Mayne Island (I’ve met her a bunch of times and she couldn’t be more knowledgable or wonderful) using all natural ingredients. While nothing beats visiting her adorable boutique on Mayne, her online store carries all of her fabulous skin, hair and home products.

3 // La Roche-Posay – Anthelios Ultra Light SPF 60 Oil Free Sunscreen

For years I hated putting sunscreen on my face and would avoid it like the plague. So many formulations are thick and greasy, leaving a shiny film on my face. Now as a (slightly) wiser woman in my mid-twenties, I know the importance of wearing an SPF every day. From preventing wrinkles and sunburns to warding off skin cancer, it’s frankly a non-negotiable. Luckily, I found this uber-light formula by La Roche-Posay. It goes on milky without any scent and it absorbs instantly. It’s also a fabulous base for makeup. It’s a little pricier than your average Banana Boat SPF, but it’s totally worth it. Your skin will thank you today and tomorrow.

4 // City Color Cosmetics – Glow Duo

I’m as ivory-skinned as they come and I’ve completely given up on the idea of ever obtaining a natural tan (aside from not wanting to suffer the effects of sun damage). That’s why bronzers and highlighters are regular components of my beauty routine. This nifty little duo contains a silky bronzer that mimics a natural sun-kissed glow, as well as a hydrating highlighter that makes you look lit from within. A light dusting of the bronzer with a touch of highlighter on your high points will make you look like a beach babe instantly, without the risk of a sunburn. Slip this into your bag and touch up whenever you need a sunny pick me up.

5 // Hikari Cosmetics – Cream Pigment Eyeshadow in Envy

While I usually prefer neutral hues for my eyes, I fell hook, line, and sinker for this shimmery shade which mimics the effect of the ocean waves crashing over the sea floor. It’s a soft yet striking blend of sea foam green and sandy beige. I love to rim my eyes with it, as the soft metallic effect instantly wakes up my peepers. Layer it thinly over your entire eyelid to cream a mesmerizing backdrop for a thick fringe of eyelashes, or dab it onto your lids to add a luxe touch to an edgy smoky eye. This creamy formula is highly pigmented and lasts for hours and hours without creasing. I’m in love.

xoxo,

Alicia

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Six Stunning Scents For Spring

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In the same way that people like to update their wardrobe from season to season with a few key pieces, I like to refresh my perfume arsenal. As the chillier months melt away, I am looking forward to a lighter, more romantic scent wardrobe, filled with bright fruits, feminine florals, and earthy aromas that bring me closer to nature. With this in mind, I have curated a short and sweet list of six stunning scents that absolutely scream ‘spring is here!’. Keep scrolling to check them out!


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1 // Pop By Stella McCartney

Notes: Tomato Leaf, Violet Leaf, Green Mandarin, Violet, Frangipani, Tuberose, Sandalwood, Cedar, Musk

When you look at the notes for Pop by Stella McCartney, you don’t really get a strong impression of what this scent will smell like. Despite its predominantly floral, herbaceous ingredients, Pop is bright, flirty and optimistic. If it was a colour, it would be shocking pink. It has a sweet, almost edible aroma that is accented with ultra-feminine floral aromas. Wear it on those sunny spring days when you want to be dancing through your 9-to-5.

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2 // Marche au Fleurs By Fragonard

Notes: Melon, Black Currant, Sweet Pea, Lily-Of-The-Valley, Peach, Jasmine, Orange Blossom, Musk

Fresh and almost watery in it’s opening, Marche aux Fleurs truly does smell like a walk through a rain-soaked French garden. Juicy black currant and ripe melon add a touch of sweetness to a dewy bouquet of white florals.

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3 // White Potion By Ayala Moriel

Notes: Ylang-Ylang, Grapefruit, Rosewood, Tuberose, Jasmine, Gardenia, Sandalwood, Tonka Bean, Coconut

Tuberose is the sultry vamp of the flower world. It’s not shy and it doesn’t hold back. It’s the star of the show in indie-perfumer Ayala Moriel’s decadent confection. White Potion is unapologetically sexy with sweet, almost carnal tuberose combined with juicy grapefruit, creamy sandalwood and beachy coconut. It’s a creamy, romantic fragrance that softens throughout the day, leaving a rich, floral trail that will intoxicate those around you all day long.

 

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4 // Baiser Volé By Cartier

Note: Lily Pistil, Citrus, Lily Petals, Lily Leaves, Green Notes

If spring could be incapsulated in a singular fragrance, it would be the delicate, powdery aroma of a fresh-cut bouquet of lilies. This ingenious cocktail by Cartier captures this timeless scent, surrounding all parts of the lily – the pistil, petals and leaves. I love spritzing this on when I leave the house on a spring day. Its bright and joyful, with an aroma that garners compliments from ladies and gentlemen alike.

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5 // Curious By Britney Spears

Notes: Louisiana Magnolia, Anjou Pear, Lotus, Tuberose, Cyclamen, Jasmine, Sandalwood, Musk, White Woods, Vanilla

What?! A celebrity scent?! No seriously, Curious by Britney Spears is simply gorgeous and so ‘spring’ that it had to be included on this list. It opens with a refreshing, watery burst of juicy pear, Louisiana magnolia and lotus. As it continues to bloom, the intensive floral heart is enveloped in a warm, sultry blanket of sandalwood, musk, vanilla and precious woods. This fragrance has been flying off its shelf since 2004 and it’s not a surprise why. Curious may be a celebrity-endorsed scent but it’s effortlessly elegant, feminine and timeless.

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6 // Wisteria Blue By Nest Fragrances

Notes: French Wisteria, Bulgarian Rose, Imperial Jasmine

Romantic and regal are the two words that could best describe Wisteria Blue. Its simple composition proves that a complicated array of notes doesn’t always mean that a scent is more interesting. The three distinctive but complimentary notes blend together perfectly, creating a soft, velvety scent that is perfect for everyday (even office!) wear. It’s the kind of airy spring scent that you won’t want to start your day without!

Have you tried any of these fragrances? What is your spring signature?

xoxo,

Alicia

 

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Valentine’s Gift Guides For Him & Her

Have some last minute V-Day shopping to get done? I feel you. But don’t fret – I’ve rounded up 22 pretty gorgeous gift ideas that are sure to please the special lady or gentleman in your life. Simply scroll, click, and pick up the perfect gift for your beloved or for numero uno – you.

FOR HER

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1 // Vivienne Westwood – Tamia Earrings

These sparklers are just the right blend of sweet and edgy, for the lady who likes a little bling in her day-to-day.

2 // Marc Jacobs – Daisy Eau So Fresh Kiss

If she loved the original, she’s going to gaga for this spring-fresh blend of cherry blossom, blackcurrant and creamy sandalwood. Plus, how gorgeous is this bottle?

3 // Godiva – 24 pc. Signature Chocolate Truffles Gift Box

This stunning collection of mouthwatering dark and milk chocolates is almost too beautiful to eat. Almost.

4 // Tiffany & Co. – Elsa Peretti Open Heart Small Necklace

There is truly no better way to tell her she’s got your heart than with this minimalist open heart silver pendant. After all, jewelry is worth a thousand words.

5 // Côte Noire –  Pink Roses in Black Glass with Gift Box

Proving that faux can be fabulous, these artificial roses look like the real thing but last forever! They also smell gorgeous, thanks to the 10ml spray bottle of rose petal scent. Choose from ivory, blush, pink or crimson (the pink is my favourite).

6 // Jennifer Behr – Velvet Bow Hair Clip

Crafted out of luxe velvet, this sweet yet simple hair clip lends a touch of romance and femininity to an otherwise simple outfit.

7 // Tod’s – Women’s City Gommino Nubuck Penny Loafers in Pink

For the woman who is tired of traipsing around in toe-crushing stilettos, these hot pink loafers are super comfy and oh-so-chic.

8 // Chanel – Coco Mademoiselle Scented Foam Bath

Make bath time all the more indulgent with this creamy bubble bath, scented with Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle. Pair with a glass of champagne and oodles of candles.

9 // Olivia Burton – Moulded Floral Bouquet Watch in Blush & Rose Gold

This breathtaking time piece is seriously like a wearable piece of art. Guaranteed, anyone who wears this will be punctual, because they won’t be able to stop staring at their wrist.

10 // Pink Poodle – Collectif Heart Shoulder Bag (from Glasgow)

A little cheesy, a lot adorable, this statement-making bag will add a playful hit of colour and kitschiness to any and every outfit. The chain-link strap also keeps hands free!

11 // Cosabella – Jolie Printed Tall Triangle Bralette

Sweet and sexy, this floral-printed lacy number is as comfy as it is pretty. The crushed raspberry hue is also guaranteed to look gorgeous against all skin tones.

FOR HIM

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1 // Komono – Gold Winston Watch

If Cary Grant was a watch, he would be this gleaming beauty from Komono. From the cognac leather straps to the black face and gold hardware, everything about this watch says old-school dashing.

2 // L:A Bruket – 166 Grooming Kit

Think it’s just us ladies that like a bit of pampering? Think again. This fully-equipped shaving set makes it easy for your man to stay primped and polished with luxe products and ingredients that are selected especially for your man’s skin and hair.

3 // Mulberry – Mother Of Pearl Cufflinks

Like in relationships, when it comes to style, it’s the little things that make all the difference. With real mother of pearl, these sleek cufflinks are a luxe way to say ‘I love you’.

4 // Guerlain – L’Homme Ideal Eau de Toilette

This woody oriental is so lush and sexy that I want to wear it myself. With notes of almond, incense, leather, woods and just a hint of vanilla, this sultry cologne will keep her leaning in.

5 // The Nikka Whisky Co. – Whiskies in Tube Tasting Set

Indulge his love for whisky with this sleek and stylish tasting set! It’s a great way to find out which one he loves the most and will make cocktail hour a lot more exciting. After all, variety is the spice of life!

6 // Electric Av2 – Polarized Gold Sunglasses

Help him channel Tom Cruise in Top Gun with these sexy sunnies. They cost a pretty penny but who can put a price on protecting the eyes of the one you love right? Exactly.

7 // Burberry – Check Cotton Oxford Shirt

There’s nothing like a well-made Oxford shirt to make a man look put together. This crimson gem is made out of high-quality cotton fabric and can be dressed up or down for date night or weekend wear.

8 // Scotch & Soda – Velvet Slip-On Loafers

These plush velvet loafers will make him feel like Sonny Corleone (without the crime family) and will keep his toes toasty during February’s chilly mornings and evenings.

9 // Beats by Dr. Dre – Studio 3 Wireless Headphones

Music just sounds better with Beats. Make his morning commute a little better with these luxe headphones. You can’t buy love but Beats is pretty close.

10 // Jack Black – Mint Lip Balm and Double Duty Moisturizer

Keep his lips kissable and his complexion smooth with this refreshing duo from Jack Black. My boyfriend loves their lip balms and I have to say, I borrow his minty formula all the time.

11 // Thom Browne – Penguin Mohair & Wool Jacquard Scarf

There’s something about gentlemen in scarves that just gets me. It’s that extra touch of style that not all men add to their ensembles but they should! I remember when I went to Paris, all men wore scarves and it just looked so polished and fabulous. This quirky piece will keep him warm and stylish with cozy mohair and wool.

Which gift options are your favorites? Make sure to pick up a Valentine’s treat for yourself!

xoxo,

Alicia

Sweet Mint

Maybe it’s the dessert fiend in me, but I’ve always had a soft spot for sugary sweet pastels. Though I love periwinkle blue, soft peach and cotton candy pink, soft and creamy mint is a particular favourite of mine and instantly reminds me of my favourite flavour of ice-cream – mint chocolate chip. Aside from giving me a sweet tooth, mint is just a gorgeous, effortlessly flattering hue and captures the light-hearted playfulness of spring. However you wear it, whether on your body, on your face, or on your nails, it instantly breathes new life into a subdued winter palette of dark hues and pared down neutrals. I don’t know about you, but come February, my eyes are starving for a little bit of colour. So go ahead – put down that black and slip into something a little sweeter.

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MY MINT PICKS

1 // John Allan’s – Women’s Mint Invigorating Hydrating Conditioner

2 // Kate Spade – Peacock Metro Watch

3 // Sail to Sable – Mint Green Stretch Cotton Sweater

4 // Chicwish – Creamy Pleated Midi Skirt in Mint

5 // Ruby Rocks Accessories – Aqua Rose & Gem Stretch Bracelet Set

6 // Manu Atelier – Mini Mint Pristine Cross Body Bag

7 // Steve Madden – Saunders Sandals

8 // Piloh – Bryophyta Mint Vase

9 // ALC – Scherning Arrow Mint & Gold Stud Earrings

10 // French Girl Organics – Menthe & Romarin Sea Polish Scrub

xoxo,

Alicia

Fragrance Friday | Oh Lola! By Marc Jacobs

NAME OF FRAGRANCE | Oh Lola! By Marc Jacobs

NOTES | Wild Strawberry, Raspberry, Pear, Magnolia, Peony, Cyclamen, Sandalwood, Tonka Bean, Vanilla

VIBE | Youthful, Playful, Flirty, Refreshing, Exuberant, Sweet

Launched in 2011, Oh Lola! is the much fruitier flanker to Marc Jacobs’ Lola. While the latter is richly floral with romantic notes of rose, musk and pink pepper, Oh Lola! is a juicy treat, with the welcomed addition of wild strawberry, raspberry and creamy sandalwood. The fragrance world is completely saturated with fruity florals and while this crowd-pleasing blend isn’t exactly groundbreaking, it’s refreshing and yummy – like a raspberry Bellini. It’s the kind of scent you could give any girl as a gift and they would most likely enjoy it. So what does it actually smell like? Let’s get right into it.

Oh Lola! opens with a lively spectacle of succulent strawberry, zesty raspberry and juicy pear. It’s unabashedly fruity yet clean and refreshing. It has a soapy quality because of the florals in the heart and it’s this floral bouquet that keeps the top from being childish and saccharine. It smells like a fruity body wash but not as generic or abstract. I’ve got a bit of a crush on this scent at this point but I’m not yet in love.

Like most fruity-florals, the sweet berries and pear fade slightly and the flowers in the heart begin to reveal themselves in the heart. Peony, magnolia and cyclamen take centre stage but these are very soft flowers and they don’t smell opulently floral or perfumey like rose, gardenia or violet would. They are clean (almost watery) and they balance out the fruits in the top and the creamy notes in the base. For some reason the heart reminds me of pink champagne. It’s sparkling, light, and kind of intoxicating. Now I’m officially swooning.

And now for the final stages of Oh Lola!. The lights are dimming, the curtains are closing and the after-party is beginning to kick into gear. Luscious vanilla combines with rich tonka bean to create a mouthwatering impression reminiscent of creme brûlée. This is the most seductive aspect of the fragrance and is when Oh Lola! most closely resembles the original. Sandalwood also adds a sexy woodsy, smoky element that reminds me of roasting marshmallows over a fire. Five hours into wearing this fragrance the fruits are gone, the flowers have faded and all that’s left on my skin is a warm veil of decadent vanilla cream. It’s faint but oh-so sultry and is my favorite part of the composition.

From start to finish Oh Lola! is a playful and uplifting scent. It’s not too strong and is perfect for all kinds of situations, from casual days spent running errands to sparkling evenings out. If you like fruity fragrances and are looking for a fail-safe crowd pleaser for everyday, then I guarantee that Oh Lola! is a great bet.

Have you tried Oh Lola! and Lola by Marc Jacobs? What was your favorite? Give me your two scents.

xoxo,

Alicia