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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

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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

5 Piece Summer Wardrobe

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I recently finished a very entertaining novel called Elegance where the protagonist aims to pick up the pieces of her messy life and failing marriage by following the advice of a book (also called Elegance) that has been written to guide women on the ways that they can become more poised, stylish, and confident, improving their lives in the process.One of the chapters in the book focuses on the idea of having a small but carefully curated wardrobe of only a few well-chosen, high-quality pieces. I don’t know about you guys, but my wardrobe is completely cluttered with pieces I haven’t worn in years, whether it’s because they no longer fit, they are out of date, or they are falling apart (but I have the delusional idea that I will one day have them repaired). The idea of trimming down my wardrobe to a handful of beautiful, well-made items intrigues me. Rome wasn’t built in a day so I doubt that I will be tossing out half my closet anytime soon, but I will be going through my clothes and donating pieces that no longer serve me. My new mantra going forward is that I will only choose pieces that truly bring me joy. For me this means beautiful cuts, luxe fabrics, with just a touch of contemporary sex appeal. I want my clothes to make me look and feel good regardless of the occasion. With this in mind I have selected five key pieces for a summer wardrobe. I’ve picked three options for each item with the idea that (almost) all of the pieces could be mixed and matched. The five piece wardrobe equates to effortless elegance and light packing – two closet characteristics that are perfect for the hotter months of the year.

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SUNDRESSES

Breezy sundresses are so ideal when the temperatures rise. Simply step in, zip up, and throw on some sandals before heading out. They are easy to dress up with a statement necklace and a pair of heels or dress down with some espadrilles and a denim jacket. 

1 // OUGES – Halter Neck Floral Casual Summer Sundress 

2 // Gamiss – Flower Printed Sleeveless A-Line Sundress 

3 // J.Crew – Off The Shoulder Tie-Waist Dress 

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JERSEY TROUSERS

Unlike a pair of jeans or distressed cut-offs, trousers made of lightweight cotton or silk jersey are suitable for casual and formal occasions. They look polished and feel comfy – a must when it comes to summer dressing. Pair with a slinky cami and a pair of stiletto sandals for a night out with your favorite ladies. 

1 // 3.1 Phillip Lim – Silk Chiffon Pajama Trousers 

2 // Fleur Du Mal – Fox Silk-Lined Pants 

3 // 3.1 Phillip Lim – Silk Trousers 

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SILK T-SHIRT

Instead of throwing on yet another wrinkled, cotton tee, why not upgrade to a luxe silk or satin version? Pick one in a neutral colour (think pearl grey, taupe, navy or blush) and you’ll be have a piece that you can wear with literally everything. Plus, as far as clothing goes, nothing feels better on a hot, muggy day than a breathable silk shirt. 

1 // Reiss Ki – Silk Front T-Shirt

2 // Equipment – Prescott Striped Silk T-Shirt 

3 // CLU – Pleated Organza Trimmed Silk Jersey T-Shirt 

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LINEN SHORTS

Stay cool and chic in a crisp pair of linen shorts. This plant-based fabric is incredibly light and breathable, making it the perfect choice for summer. While I adore bright colours, a loose-fitting pair in an earthy hue will take you everywhere, from brunch to an office barbecue. 

1 // Zimmerman – Zephyr Striped Cotton & Linen Blend Shorts

2 // Vince – Linen and Silk Shorts 

3 // Venroy – Lounge Drawstring Shorts 

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BREEZY CARDIGAN

One of the best things about summer is not having to lug around a heavy coat or jacket. That being said, a lightweight cardigan or poncho (for cool summer nights) is an absolute essential. Choose two or three options – at least one in a luxurious fabric (think silk or thin cashmere) and one casual poncho for camping or hanging out on the beach. Right now I’m loving pieces with nautical stripes and oceanic colours – navy and pale periwinkle blue go with everything! 

1 // Mat Blue – Cream Striped Open Cardigan 

2 // French Connection – Milano Mozart Cardigan

3 // Outdoor & Country – Barbour Harewood Cardigan 

What do you think of these pieces? Would you ever adopt a five piece wardrobe? Let me know your thoughts!

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

Gingham Style

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Gingham is one of my favourite patterns this spring. It feels very country casual and lends a flirtatious vibe to any outfit. It’s girl next door meets farmer chic in the best possible way. It may be a bold print but it is also surprisingly versatile. You can go all out and mix different coloured checks from top to bottom or dip your baby toe in this trend with shoes and accessories. From a picnic by the lake to a board meeting at the office, you can work this trend anytime and anywhere. Scroll on for a few of the million ways that you can go gingham.


1 // The Picnic – Vintage Inspired Blue Check Gingham Sunglasses

2 // Alexandre Birman – Clarita Gingham Canvas Sunglasses

3 // Edie Parker – Jane Gingham Straw Basket Crossbody Bag

4 // J. Crew – Gingham Bow Ponytail Holder

5 // Solid and Striped – The Anne-Marie Gingham One-Piece Swimsuit

6 // PrettyLittleThing – Lorinda Gingham Frill Hem Shorts

7 // Kayu – Gingham Envelope Clutch

8 // Zaful – Gingham Check Cold Shoulder Blouse

9 // Betsey Johnson – Ann Flats

xoxo,

Alicia

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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

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November Beauty Picks

Although I love to experiment with my makeup and play with different hairstyles, the foundation of my beauty routine is a solid skincare system. This hasn’t always been the case. When I was younger I was quite rough with my skin – I would go to bed without taking my makeup off, I’d pick at pimples, I’d scrub my face with harsh, sandpaper like formulas (St. Ives Shards of Glass Apricot Scrub, I’m looking at you), I would always forego SPF. When it comes to universally known skincare sins, you name it, I did it. In my late teens I began to develop more of an interest in skincare and sought out help from estheticians and facialists to give me a better sense of how to take care of my complexion. What did I learn? Less is generally more and to exfoliate and moisturize regularly, albeit gently (there is no reason to rub sharp, overly abrasive scrubs into your skin, unless you are trying to remove calluses from the soles of your feet). In the winter, when the air is cold, dry, and unforgiving, my skincare routine becomes a little more indulgent – think masks, serums, oils, etc. I keep my makeup simple, focusing instead on keeping a glowing complexion. Behold, my five favorite beauty products this month.


1 // Lush – Ocean Salt Face and Body Scrub

LUSH has become a favorite brand of mine over the years. Why? Their products are often vegan, are ethically produced, and are handcrafted using nourishing, organic ingredients. Ocean Salt is a tried and true classic and is one of the brand’s most popular products. I can totally see why. First, it smells like a margarita thanks to its clarifying blend of vodka, salt, and lime. Second, it manages to deeply cleanse and exfoliate my skin without making it break out – this is no easy feat. It’s not a scrub I use everyday (it’s quite stimulating), but it’s great for giving my skin a rosy glow and keeping my complexion free of blackheads and flakes. I use it about once a week.

2 // Lush – Let the Good Times Roll Facial Cleanser

Ahh. This may have taken Angels on Bare Skin’s place as my all-time favorite cleanser. With hydrating corn oil, maize flour, warming cinnamon, and exfoliating cornmeal, this moisturizing cleanser makes my face feel like silk. Plus it smells absolutely amazing – like sweet caramel corn or buttery pancakes. The texture is a little bit gritty but isn’t too abrasive. I use it everyday and it’s like a gentle polish for my skin.

3 // ModelCo- Contour Stick

I used to be a little bit hesitant about applying contour during the day. It felt too extreme and getting it juust right can be very challenging. Enter this delightful gem from ModelCo. I simply draw a little line under my cheekbones and along the sides of my nose before blending it well with a sponge. I then dust a little bit of bronzer on top. Bam! A natural, glowy, sculpted look that looks anything but clownish. I love how blendable this product is and the creamy formula lends a slight dewiness to my complexion.

4 // Naked Cosmetics – Advanced Skin Cream

Next to exfoliating, moisturizing regularly has made the biggest difference in my skin. I can be a little bit high-maintenance with my routine (I have night creams, day creams, serums, oils, and eye-creams) but this is the moisturizer I keep in my purse for when I’m on the go and I use it more than any other moisturizer. With light yet hydrating ingredients such as aloe vera, shea butter, and algae, it never fails me and consistently leaves my skin feeling supple with a dewy glow.

5 // Too Faced – Better Than Sex Mascara

Better than sex? That’s a tall order for a mascara to deliver on. Still, this tried and true fan favorite lives up to its name. With plenty of collagen in its formula, it lifts, lengthens, and thickens my lashes in only a couple of swoops. Truly, I look like Bambi when I use this bad boy. Only sultrier. This is an expensive formula but it is one that I like to treat myself to. Try it. When you see your long, lush, fluttery lashes you will agree that it is worth every single penny.

xoxo,

Alicia