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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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

Splurge & Save | High End & Drugstore Beauty Favorites


I don’t think that it’s any secret that I’m a huge beauty junkie. While I do have a ton of different make up, skincare, and hair products littering my vanity, they aren’t all from high-end, trendy brands. There are certain products that are worth splurging on, just as there are a few holy grail drugstore items that rival even their most pricey counterparts. From my splurge-worthy swear-bys to the diamonds in the rough, these are the best beauty products out there, regardless of your budget. 

SPLURGE 


1 // Fresh – Lotus Youth Preserve Eye Cream

I am a bit of a night owl and so a good eye cream is a must for me. This anti-aging formula brightens my eyes and makes me look like I’ve gotten a good eight hours of sleep when really I’ve only gotten five. It also packs an anti-aging punch with star fruit extract and tons of antioxidants.

2 // Urban Decay – Naked Eye Shadow Palette

This is the holy grail of eye shadow palettes. It has it all – neutrals, blues and purples, metallics, and mattes. Whatever my mood, there is a delightfully high-pigmented shadow ready to go. It also never creases and lasts for ages. This palette may be a little pricey but it’s worth every penny and when mine bites the dust, you can bet that I will buy another ASAP. 

3 // Benefit – The Porefessional Face Primer

Seriously, this stuff is better than any foundation I have ever used. I don’t even need foundation after using this primer. It goes on like silk and blurs pores and imperfections until all you’re left with is baby smooth, porcelain doll-like skin. Add a touch of mascara and some tinted lip balm and you’re good to go!

4 // Marc Jacobs – Highliner Gel Eye Crayon

This is my favorite eyeliner. Why? It goes on smoothly, doesn’t tug at the delicate skin around my eyes, is highly pigmented, and it lasts all day long. It is also self sharpening. Why is there even such thing as eyeliners that you have to sharpen yourself in this day and age? But for real, this eyeliner looks as fresh at 8 pm as it does 8 am. Give it a try and see why it’s perfection itself.

5 // Fekkai – Salon Professional PrX Reparative Mask

The key to silky smooth strands is hydration. Fortified with hair-nourishing vitamins and Argan extract, this vanilla scented hair mask penetrates deeply into each hair shaft to smooth and condition, leaving it lustrous and soft. It also never hurts when your hair smells like sugar cookies. 

SAVE


1 // L’Oreal Paris – Voluminous Mascara in Carbon Black

I have tried many mascaras, from high-end designer to cheap dollar store versions. This inexpensive formula is one of the best out there. It leaves my lashes thick and fluttery. There’s practically a breeze when I bat my eyes. Bambi eyes are just a few clicks away. 

2 // Revlon – Ultra HD Matte Lip Colour in Addiction

This is the perfect matte lipstick. It glides on like a gloss and then dries to a plush, velvety magenta hue that brightens my face and makes me look polished and pretty. It also doesn’t dry my lips out which seems to be a common problem with matte and long-lasting lipsticks.

3 // Neutrogena – Hydro Boost Water Gel

Lightweight and cooling, this is my absolute favorite moisturizer in the summertime. It is formulated with purified hyaluronic acid and this gel formula sinks into the skin right away and deeply hydrates without leaving a greasy residue. It keeps my skin looking fresh and supple, but never shiny.

4 // Olay – 4-in-1 Combination/Oily Daily Facial Cloths

While I love indulging in a multi-step skincare routine on most days, sometimes I’m just too exhausted to cleanse, tone, and moisturize. Enter these delightfully multitasking cloths which whisk away makeup (even waterproof mascara), oil, dirt, and debris while toning my complexion, all in one go. They are absolutely perfect for low-maintenance ladies. Now there is no excuse for going to bed with a face full of makeup!

5 // Garnier – SKINACTIVE Micellar Cleansing Water (All-in-1 Waterproof Makeup Remover & Cleanser)

I’m sure you’ve heard of micellar water before – you know, that skincare product that all the models claim to use religiously and that every magazine raves about. It’s like this magical potion from heaven that takes off all of your makeup, cleanses and conditions skin. The best part? You don’t have to rinse it off! This formula is super gentle and removes literally everything, even my waterproof mascara. It’s like unicorn tears in a bottle. Lazy ladies, rejoice!

I hope you enjoyed this post! Do you have any favorite luxe/cheap beauty products that you think I should try? Let’s talk beauty! 

xoxo,

Alicia

A Lipstick For Every Occasion


I’m a total lipstick addict and have over 30 shades in my makeup kit, so I have definitely done the leg work when it comes to going out and testing lip colours. While we all have our favorites, certain lipsticks work better for some situations than others. With this notion in mind, I have categorized five lipsticks depending on the occasion they are best suited for. Going out with the girls? Have an important meeting or job interview? There’s a lipstick for that.

EVERYDAY

Your everyday lipstick should be your absolute favorite of your collection. It should be your holy grail of lip colours. The kind where you put it on and you feel pretty, even if your hair is greasy and your skin is spotty. The most flattering lipstick I own is this rosey, coppery, red hue (N9) from Makeup Forever. I first tried it three years ago when I received it as a gift and I’ve never looked back. It’s not too dark or bold but gives my face a flattering boost of colour. It’s a timeless, seasonless shade that I wear all year round and I am pretty confident you would love it too. I’ve yet to see a complexion this baby didn’t look amazing on.

My Pick: Makeup Forever – Rouge Artist Natural Lipstick in N9


AT THE OFFICE

To me, an ideal office lipstick would be one that is neutral enough to go with whatever I am wearing, whether I’m at a meeting or a casual office barbecue. It should be flattering yet subtle. This mauve-nude shade fits the bill perfectly. It’s also super moisturizing and lasts for ages, so you won’t have to touch up as much during the day!

My Pick – Mellow Creamy Matte Lipstick in Nude


DATE NIGHT

First things first, whatever you wear to a date should make you feel beautiful. If pink isn’t your jam, then wear whatever colour of the rainbow tickles your pickle. Personally, I love this retro shade of pale pink. It’s subtle, sweet and instantly brightens up my face, making me look a little bit more polished but not overdone.

My Pick – Revlon – Matte Lipstick in Pink Pout


COCKTAIL HOUR

A night out with the ladies calls for a look-at-me shade that lasts all night. Case in point, this cheerful coral stain from fashion designer Cynthia Rowley’s beauty line! It’s the perfect coral hue – not too pink, not too orange. Plus the formula is super moisturizing!

My Pick: Cynthia Rowley – Creamy Lip Stain in Valentine


FORMAL AFFAIR

This deep magenta hue really makes an impact when walking into a room. Which is exactly what you want when you’re dressing up fancy! What I love most about this product is the formula. It goes on like a gloss and then dries into a plush, matte finish. It’s also a gorgeous, juicy shade for summer, reminiscent of raspberry sorbet!

My Pick: Revlon – UltraHD Matte Lip Color in Addiction

xoxo,

Alicia

Summer Beauty Trends I Love 


Summer is just around the corner and you know what that means. It’s time to switch up your beauty routine! The warmer months are all about playful, low maintenance makeup and hair. It’s effortless and colourful. It’s the season to take risks, whether it’s with a new hair colour, or a swipe of violet mascara. I’ve scoured fashion magazines and blogs so you don’t have to, and out of everything that I have seen, these are my five favorite beauty trends for summer.


 

1 // LILAC LIPS

Pale purple lips might seem hard to pull off but they are shockingly flattering and totally pop against a tan. Make sure that your pout is silky smooth before applying this bold shade – a yummy coffee flavored scrub will do the trick nicely. Simple eye makeup and an even, matte complexion will let your lilac lipstick take centre stage.

NYX – Golden BB Cream

Ilia – Lip Gloss in Back To Life

NARS – Eyeliner Stylo

Java Skincare – Organic Green Coffee Lip Scrub


glassy-eyed-makeup

2 // GLASSY EYED

Lip gloss is cool, but do you know what’s even cooler? Eye gloss. That’s right – you heard me. Simply apply a layer of this shiny lacquer over your favorite eye shadow and watch your peepers pop. A bronzed complexion and groomed brows will make you look even more like the glowing goddess you are.

Saint Laurent – Eye Gloss Smudger

Beauty is Life – Shiny Eye Shadow

Fresh – Sugar Rose Tinted Lip Treatment SPF 15

Maybelline – Great Lash Clear Mascara



3 // BLUE JEAN BABY

Blue eye shadow is often synonymous with tackiness. It shouldn’t be! Much like your favorite pair of jeans, blue eye shadow is a time-tested classic, whether you prefer deep cobalt or periwinkle. Pro tip: baby blue lids look especially beautiful with petal pink lips and thick, fluttery lashes.

Bobbi Brown – Extreme Party Mascara in Black

BWC – Mineral Duo Eyeshadow in Ultramarine

L’Oreal Paris – Brow Artist Genius Kit

Benefit Cosmetics – Posiebalm Hydrating Tinted Lip Balm



4 // PINK LADY

This trend takes the phrase ‘pretty in pink’ to the next level. Rosy shades will instantly warm up your complexion and make you look glowy and fresh. But don’t just limit this shade to your lips and cheeks! From the runway to street style shots, hot pink lids are making a bold and trendy statement.

MBA Cosmetics (Etsy) – Loose Mineral Eyeshadow in Pinkalicious

Tarte – Cheek Stain in Tipsy

Clarins – Eyebrow Pencil in Light Brown

Winky Lux – Pink Flower Lip Balm



5 // LASHING OUT

You can never go wrong with thick, voluminous lashes. The only way to improve this look is by swiping on a layer of brightly coloured mascara! Emerald, violet, navy, and even ruby red are all some of the season’s trendiest hues for lashes. Also, if you’re hesitant to go all out with a coloured eye shadow or liner, mascara is a subtle way to wear colour. So go ahead and dress up your lids!

NYX – Color Mascara in Purple

Colour Pop – Highlighter Trio in Waffle

MAC – Eye Shadow in Bronze

Maybelline – Color Sensational The Buffs Nude Lipstick

xoxo,

Alicia

Love For Lemons

Lemon-Fashion-Collage

There are a ton of reasons to love lemons. They make drinks taste better, they smell lovely, and they can even be arranged into beautiful centerpieces. One thing you might not know is how fantastic these vitamin-C packed fruits are for your skin and hair. Their naturally astringent properties make them an excellent natural solution for battling blemishes and oily skin. They are chock full of vitamin C and antioxidants which help to keep skin bright, youthful, and glowy. Lemon juice has also been used for centuries to give hair natural highlights. This citrus fruit is a serious overachiever. One might even say it’s the Beyonce of the fruit world.  If you’re not yet convinced, then you need to give one of these 7 beauty gems a try.

lemon-beauty-products

1 // Bliss – Lemon + Sage Body Butter

Not only does this ultra-rich body cream smell delicious, it’s also incredibly hydrating and nourishing with antioxidants like vitamin A and E. Unlike a lot of moisturizers out there, this baby will keep your skin silky soft all day. Although you will probably want to reapply because of the uplifting, sunshine-in-a-bottle scent.

2 // Mod Bath and Body – Lemon Cupcake Whipped Sugar Scrub

I’m all about baths and this sugar scrub makes tub time even more indulgent. The sugar base naturally sloughs away dead skin cells, leaving your skin smooth and smelling like lemon cake. Say yes to dessert.

3 // Jack Black – Lemon & Shea Butter Intense Therapy SPF 25 Lip Balm

Chapped lips don’t stand a chance against this heavy duty lip balm. It goes on light but absorbs quickly, replenishing your parched lips with a surge of moisture and SPF protection. I love the non-greasy formula and the fact that it smells like lemonade.

4 // Mullein & Sparrow – Lemon Rose Face Wash

From the minimalistic bottle to the luxe formula, there’s nothing about this cleanser that I don’t love. Astringent lemon cuts through oil and grime while rose soothes your skin and calms redness. Tough yet gentle, consider this the good cop, bad cop duo for your skin.

5 // EOS – Active Protection SPF Lemon Lip Balm

People, myself included, often forget about their lips when they are applying sunscreen. There are few things that hurt more than a burned, blistering pout. This sweet smelling lip balm hydrates with shea butter and jojoba oil and protects with SPF 15. Multitasking beauty products are where it’s at.

6 // Tom Ford – Fleur De Portofino Eau De Parfum

Spritz on this floral fragrance and escape on a olfactory vacation to the Mediterranean. Sparkling Sicilian lemon and bergamot open the spectacle, before softening into a opulent white floral bouquet with a touch of sticky honey and vanilla to make the flowers in the heart all the more soft and sweet. A gorgeous, feminine fragrance that is perfect for spring.

7 // Tony Moly – I’m Real Brightening Lemon Sheet Mask

Sure, you’ll look like Jason from Friday the 13th,  but this sheet mask will make your skin look and feel radiant in a matter of minutes. Forget a coffee, this lemon-infused mask will make your complexion look instantly fresh and wide awake. You know what they say – when life gives you lemons, rub them on your face.

Have you tried any of these products? Are there any that I should add to the list? Let me know in the comments! 

xoxo,

Alicia

april-beauty-picks

April Beauty Picks

So I really had quite the opportunity to discover new beauty products this month. Why? I lost my entire bag of makeup in a cab on the way home from my friend’s house. Cue the violins. So after I had a good little cry (kidding, not kidding) I had to go out and stock up on all new beauty essentials. The silver lining of my taxi tragedy was that I found a few gems that I absolutely love. From a mascara that can withstand sweat, rain, tears, and naps, to a luxe serum that has pearls in it, these are my five favorite beauty finds of the month.


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1 // Artistry – Ideal Radiance Illuminating Essence

First things first, this serum is a freaking godsend. My cousin Marina actually introduced me to Artistry when she began selling the line and I instantly became intrigued by its quality and cult-like following (Sandra Bullock and Jennifer Lopez are fans). It was difficult to choose which products I wanted to buy, but I ended up settling on this one. My skin is pretty clear but I have always been prone to blotchiness and dullness. With antioxidant packed ingredients like acerola cherry and skin-soothing pearl protein and flower essences, this oil free serum has already made my complexion brighter and my skin tone more even and fresh looking. It’s a splurge at $133 but I think it’s worth every penny.

2 // CoverGirl – LashBlast 24HR Mascara

If there is one thing I never leave the house without, it’s a few coats of mascara on my lashes. My biggest pet peeve however, is when it flakes under my eyes and I look like a raccoon at the end of the day. This is one of the few mascaras I have found that looks as fresh at 7 pm as it did when I applied it at 7 am. It makes my lashes full, long, and lush and doesn’t flake at all. The only flaw? It’s a bitch to take off. I find coconut oil does the trick though, and it’s a small price to pay for fresh, fluttery lashes all day long.

3 // Revlon – Kiss Balm in Berry Burst

I’m more of a lipstick gal than a balm girl, but this tinted formula is kind of like a hybrid between the two. It’s super hydrating and leaved a pretty wash of colour on my lips that brightens my whole face. It’s also SPF 20 which is an extra bonus. I love this for when I don’t want to have a dramatically bold lip but I still want a little colour.

4 // Marc Jacobs – Highliner Gel Eye Crayon in Blacquer

I love this eye liner for the same reason that I love CoverGirl’s Lashblast 24HR Mascara. It. Lasts. All. Day. Long. I truly hate when my eye makeup smudges and this highly pigmented gem never fades. Unlike the mascara, this is super easy to wash off. It glides on easily and can make my eyes look subtly defined or sultry and dramatic. It’s pricey at $33, but I love, love, love it.

5 // Artistry Essentials – Pore Cleansing Masque

My favorite thing to do after work is as follows: light a few candles, switch on Netflix, apply this mask. My face always feels a bit greasy at the end of the day and this deep cleansing mask is perfect for soaking up excess oil. With mineral clay, brightening ginseng, and nourishing copper and zinc, this reaches deep into my pores to pull out dirt, debris, and sebum. It also tingles in a very satisfying way that makes me feel like it’s really working. I use this two or three times a week depending on what my skin needs, and it leaves my complexion soft, smooth, and matte. It also doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin, but as always, you should always spot test a mask before slathering it all over your face.

Have you tried any of these products? What did you think? Let’s chat in the comments!

xoxo,

Alicia