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

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May Beauty Picks

This month I have been all about stepping out of my comfort zone. Nude lipsticks and bold metallics have been all over my radar lately and I am happy to say that I have found a few favorites that are now on regular rotation in my beauty routine. After all, playing it safe everyday gets pretty dull, even when it comes to something as simple as makeup! So with that in mind, here are my top five beauty finds this May, from the holy grail for curly hair to your eyebrows’ new best friend.

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1 // Renpure – Coconut Mint Curly Cleansing Conditioner

I’m sure I’ve reiterated it a million times, but curly hair needs plenty of hydration in order to be healthy and manageable. This cleansing conditioner totally fits the bill and quenches my parch strands with oodles of extra virgin coconut oil. It’s also completely free of sulfates and other nasties that are often found in shampoo, so it doesn’t strip my hair of its much needed natural oils.

2 // Pixi by Petra – Endless Silky Eye Pen in Opal Overcoat

This shimmery pale gold liner gives me a well rested look instantly. It also glides on easily and lasts all day (fading eyeliners is my biggest pet peeve). It looks great on its own or layered over a darker colour.  Weird but true, this also makes my lips look really full when I use it as a lip liner. Simply use it around your natural lip line and then blend before putting on your lipstick. Angelina lips in an instant!

3 // Mellow – Creamy Matte Lipstick in Nude

Nudes are tricky for me. It’s not easy to find the right shade as most either wash out my fair complexion or make my lips look like they are coated in a too dark foundation. This has subtle mauve undertones which gives it just the right amount of colour. It’s natural looking and very flattering, giving me that no-makeup-makeup look that is so hard to achieve. The formula is also very rich and creamy which is rare for a matte lipstick. It honestly feels like a balm!

4 // Benefit – Gimme Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel

This is kind of a magic wand. Seriously. Beautiful defined brows have a way of framing your entire face and making you look polished even if you don’t have any other makeup on. This gel formula has microfibers which adhere to your skin and brow hairs, making your brows look fuller in a subtle and natural way. If you shy away from eyebrow pencils and powders, give this gem a try!

5 // Naked Cosmetics – Metallic Eye Shadow in Heavy Metal

I love rose gold. All rose gold things are alright with me. I recently received this shadow in an Ipsy Glam Bag and it is one of my favorite products I have ever gotten. It’s highly pigmented, vivid, and it shimmers like crazy. It’s not a shadow that I would wear everyday, but it’s perfect for a night out when I want to shine bright like a diamond.

What is your holy grail of beauty products? You know, that one product that you can’t live without? Let’s talk beauty.

xoxo,

Alicia

Fall Beauty Inspiration

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Although I have always been interested in beauty and make up and its ability to transform us into different people as well as express ourselves in a very personal way, I almost always do my makeup in the same way on a day to day basis. I know. Boring. As fall approaches and summer’s lazy days gradually speed up as vacations end and people go back to work and school, it always feels like a new beginning. A chance to start fresh and reinvent my personal style. Although I know what works for me (earthy tones for my eyes, thick black lashes, flushed cheeks and a rosey, stained mouth) I feel that there is no better time to experiment with makeup then in the fall when the weather gets cooler and one actually feels like putting makeup on their faces (no one likes cakey, melting foundation or running mascara). After perusing through a few of my favorite magazines (Harper’s Bazaar, Elle Canada, Nylon, Vogue) and clicking through photos of the European and American Fall 2015 couture collections and some of the latest award shows, I was inspired by some of the makeup looks. Although I will never be avante garde in my cosmetic choices, bold lipstick hues such as tangerine, merlot, ruby and coral and vivid eyeliners and shadows have me inspired to step out of my classic, prim and proper box. Below are a few looks that I intend to incorporate into my makeup routine.

Smokey Eye and Tousled Locks

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1. Eye Liner // Nars Eyeliner in Night Clubbing Black with Gold Pearl

2. Lipstick // Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in Shock Me Pink

3. Eye Shadow // Make Molten Shadow in Bronze

4. Salt Spray // LUSH Cosmetics Sea Spray

Dramatic Eyes and Berry Stained Lips

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1. Mascara // Lancome Hypnose Drama Instant Full Body Volume Mascara in Black

2. Eye Liner // Maybelline New York Ultra Liner Liquid Liner in Black

3. Lip Stain // DuWop Pure Venom in Berry Chill

4. Foundation // Nars All Day Luminous Powder Foundation in Broad Spectrum SPF 24

Minimalistic with Tangerine Lips

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1. Mascara // Great Lash Clear Mascara

2. Lipstick // Gorgeous Cosmetics Lipstick in Quinn

3. Eye Shadow // MAC Shadow in Brule

4. Blush // Benefit Cosmetics Face Powder in Dandelion

Luminescent Pastels

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1. Eye Shadow // Isaac Mizrahi Eye Shadow and Liner Powder in Ice Blue

2. Lipstick // Tarte Amazonian Butter Lipstick

3. Eye Liner // Cargo Cosmetic TexasLiner Liquid Eye Liner in Black

4. Highlighter // Benefit Cosmetics High Beam Highlighter

Bronzed Metallics with a Pop of Blue

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  1. Eye Liner // Stila Smudge Crayon Waterproof Eye Colour in Periwinkle
  2. Bronzer // Maybelline Dream Sun Bronzing Powder
  3. Lipstick // bareMinerals Marvelous Moxie Lipstick in Rise Up
  4. Eye Shadow // LOVEsick Nude Eye Shadow Palette

xoxo,

Alicia

My Top 5 | Complexion Essentials

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When it comes to my beauty routine, I love to experiment constantly with new products. In fact, I recently discovered the notion of monthly beauty box subscriptions (packages of sample sized beauty products that are delivered to one’s door every month). There are tons of options out there, Ipsy and Glossy Box to name just a couple (see more here). The  box I chose to subscribe to was Birchbox and I have to say I was very much impressed by their May box curated by one of my all time favorite blogger’s Emily Schuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere. I love to try new cosmetics and skin care products on a regular basis, not only because I get bored easily and like to try new things, but also because I believe that it is beneficial to change up one’s routine once in a while as one’s skin can change and you never know what will work best on you. That being said, there are a few products that I consistently use and find myself repurchasing again and again.

1. Skoah Hydradew Mask

I discovered Skoah and this mask by chance after my boyfriend got me one of their Power Facials as a birthday present (To die for. Be prepared to melt into your seat and walk like a drunk person afterwards). Prior to this appointment I had always thought of my skin as being rather combination to oily. After my skin assessment I was told that my skin was actually very dehydrated and dry and as a result my face produced extra oil to combat this dehydration. This light gel mask not only smells fresh and delicious (exactly like fresh grapes) but it is moisturizing without feeling heavy or oily like so many moisturizing masks tend do. It’s loaded with nourishing, healing ingredients such as sea kelp, algae and gingko biloba extract. It has a natural cooling effect too and would be an excellent treatment for soothing sunburns this summer.

2. LUSH Aqua Marina Fresh Cleanser

Another product that I found by chance. I wandered into work about two hours before the start of my shift (how I did that I will never know, but at least I was early and not late!) and then realized I had quite a bit of time to kill. I work on busy and bustling Robson street, one of the largest shopping hubs in Vancouver, so downtime usually equates to money being spent. I walked into LUSH, a store I would usually walk past and ignore and found myself conversing with a shop assistant about my skin -dry, sensitive, prone to irritation. He helpfully recommended the BB Seaweed Fresh Face Mask and this cleanser. Packed with calamine, sea weed and aloe vera, this cleanser does wonders for my often red, sensitive skin. Not only that but the calamine absorbs excess oil while having a very soothing, creamy texture (unlike the Ocean Salt which I love as a body scrub but would never let it near my face again). For those who are new to LUSH cleansers, they are solid but very easy to use. Simply pinch off a piece, make a paste with a little water and cleanse as usual. A great all natural, Vegan product that actually delivers noticeable results. This and Angels on Bare Skin from LUSH are my all time favorite cleansers.

3. Vichy Ideal Soleil Self Tanner – Moisturizing Milk for Face and Body

Prior to using this ultra light cream by Vichy, I wouldn’t dare touch my face or body with self tanner. The results always seem so fake! This one however I was given as a gift with purchase and as I didn’t want to waste it, I put it on and was extremely surprised by the excellent results. I have very fair skin and this lotion gave me a subtle yet noticeable warm, healthy glow without being reminiscent of Snooki from Jersey Shore. It was also very moisturizing, evened out my skin tone and didn’t break out my sensitive skin. I love to use it to warm up my skin every once in a while.

4. Burt’s Bees Radiance Night Cream

This night cream by Burts Bees is extremely rich and dewy making it a great choice for people with dry and dehydrated skin. It’s somewhat expensive and has a strong sweet, honey-esque smell that I enjoy but some people may find it to be a bit much (my boyfriend is not a fan and says “are you wearing that stuff again?” when I wear it when I am sleeping at his place). That being said, it is deeply hydrated and I wake up to fresh, supple, even skin. It’s great for the Winter when the cold dry air leaves my skin parched and red but I also wear it in the summer (I stick it in the fridge for a cooling effect) as it rehydrates my sun burnt, dry skin.

5. Benefit The Pore-fessional

I don’t always splash out on high end beauty products as I know that there are a lot of inexpensive high quality products I can find in drugstores or in health food stores. However, for this little gem of a primer I make an exception. It has an extremely sheer, velvety texture. While it doesn’t provide any real coverage, it smoothes out the appearance of pores or any small bumps that might be on one’s face. I love to use it in conjunction with Benefit’s Highbeam highlighter with a dusting of pressed powder and touch of concealer for those days when I want a perfect, doll-like complexion.

Any products that you love so much that I should try and feature on my blog? Let me know in the comments.

xoxo,

Alicia