February Beauty Picks

I love February for a few reasons. One – it’s the end of January which is the worst month of the year (it’s right after Christmas and right before Valentine’s Day and spring – it’s a total limbo). Two – it’s when my boyfriend and I celebrate our anniversary and I love cheesy, romantic, Valentine’s Day B.S (sue me). Three – I love that I can gradually transition my winter wardrobe and beauty routine into spring. Sure, the weather is still freezing, but things start to feel more cheerful. Pink lipstick, shiny glosses, shimmery highlighters, soft and even skin – it’s feminine and relaxed. My February beauty routine is very natural but cheerful. A touch of mascara, a dab of colour corrector and a swipe of rosé or cherry lipstick and I’m ready to go. The five products below are my absolute favourites right now. From a light but quenching moisturizer to a skin-saving primer – take it from me, you are going to want to check all of these goodies out!


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1 // Cake Beauty – Milk Made Velveteen Hand Cream

I can’t stand having dry hands (or feet, knees or elbows) and winter wreaks havoc on my skin. I picked up a tube of this in Shoppers and instantly fell in love with its light but hydrating texture and subtle scent of candied oats. With rich, vegan ingredients like marshmallow root, mango and shea butter, it leaves my hands silky and soothed. It also smells yummy – like vanilla rice pudding or steamed vanilla milk.

2 // Caudalie – Instant Detox Mask

Ahhh Caudalie. If there is ever a mask worth splurging on it’s this beauty. A thin layer of this pink elixir is all it takes to suck the gunk out of my pores like a magnet (especially the blackheads in my nose). It is filled with detoxifying ingredients such as pink clay, lavender, coffee and papaya enzymes and smells amazing with all natural essential oils. One use was enough to make me notice that my skin was more even and my pores were smaller but regular use is seriously transformational.

3 // Morning Glamour – Black Satin Pillow Case

For years I had read that a silk or satin pillow case was the key to keeping your skin and hair wrinkle and tangle free but I had never been sold. Flash forward to a couple weeks ago when I found this pillow case on sale. At only $10 I thought, why not? I am glad I bought it because it is so luxurious sleeping on a cool, silky pillow. I also have noticed that my bed head is significantly less crazy. Will it reduce my wrinkles? We will see. But it’s worth getting just because of how delightful it feels to sleep on. Now I feel like Holly Golightly from ‘Breakfast At Tiffany’s’ when I am snoozing.

4 // Scentuals – Neroli Twist Roll-On Perfume

I love to smell good and have a perfume collection that counts well over a hundred scents (I am insane, I know). I like to keep minis and roll-ons on hand just to touch up during the day and this natural neroli fragrance has become a favourite of mine. The perfect mix of floral and earthy, it’s a heady blend of neroli, ylang-ylang, bergamot and lavender. It’s elegant but casual enough for everyday. It reminds me of being in a forest in the springtime and has me daydreaming of sunnier days.

5 // Indeed – Nanoblur Colour Corrector in Green

I don’t like to wear foundation or primer unless I’ve got some kind of event to go to. Most formulas feel too heavy and I don’t like an overly matte finish. I like a little dew and for my natural skin to show through. This green tinted cream came across my radar when I was looking for a new BB cream and I was instantly intrigued by its promise to reduce redness while reducing inflammation. I’ve always been fairly pink and I loved the idea of evening out my complexion without caking on skin coloured paste. This goes on light as air and blends in seamlessly, transforming from mint green to a beautiful even finish in seconds. I wear this everyday and it feels like I’m wearing nothing at all. I also feel like it has made my skin less red when I’m wearing no makeup at all! For a smooth, even, hydrated face, this nourishing colour corrector is a god-send. Don’t be scared of the green colour – it neutralizes the pink in your skin and blends into your natural skin colour way better than a traditional foundation or bb cream! If you are like me and have skin that tends to get a bit ruddy, this is a fabulous product.

What beauty treasures are you obsessed with right now? Let me know in the comments!

xoxo,

Alicia

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Scent Saturday | Coco Mademoiselle Eau De Toilette By Chanel

COMPANY | Chanel

NAME OF FRAGRANCE | Coco Mademoiselle Eau De Toilette

NOTES | Sicilian Orange, Grapefruit, Bergamot, Litchi, Italian Jasmine, Rose, Patchouli, Tahitian Vetiver, Bourbon Vanilla, White Musk

It’s strange, but when I first smelled Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum a few years ago I was not a fan. I liked its initial citrusy burst but as is developed on my skin, it changed into a heavy, thick floriental that I did not appreciate. Cut to testing this Eau De Toilette version last fall and I fell madly in love. It’s zesty and bright with a sharpness that reminds me of men’s cologne. It’s my absolute favourite office fragrance (it makes me feel powerful and pulled together) and has become a signature scent for me.

If you, like me, don’t like the Eau De Parfum version of Coco Mademoiselle, don’t let that stop you from giving this a test. It’s much fresher with a barely there sweetness that makes it modern and sparkling. This spectacle opens with bright citruses (grapefruit, Sicilian orange and Bergamot) and it’s like a refreshing slap in the face. It really wakes me up in the morning but doesn’t smell like straight up lemon peel or a basket of oranges like other citrus scents do. After about 20 minutes the zingy top softens and the romantic floral heart reveals itself. Dreamy jasmine, opulent rose and juicy litchi dance together creating a well-blended accord that is feminine without being overly sweet or flowery. It’s the olfactory equivalent of a Chanel LBD – it’s classic yet sexy. It’s feminine and sensual but still powerful. Like I said, it’s my favourite office scent but it’s really perfect for any occasion.

What really saves this from being just another girly floral is the base. A heady combination of Tahitian vetiver, patchouli, bourbon vanilla and musk, it’s a dusky accord reminiscent of cigar smoke filled lounges, leather and aged wood. It’s subtle but it makes the scent the sexy oriental it is. If you’re on the hunt for an everyday perfume that is sexy and fresh with a masculine edge, this is one you will love.

xoxo,

Alicia

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

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

Fragrance Friday | Fancy by Jessica Simpson

NAME OF FRAGRANCE | Fancy by Jessica Simpson

NOTES | Pear, Apricot, Red Berries, Gardenia, Jasmine, Almond, Caramel, Sandalwood, Vanilla, Amber

VIBE | Romantic, Cozy, Cuddly, Feminine, Comforting

If perfumers had the ability to bottle up the exact essence of caramel drizzled creme brûlée, you would get Fancy by Jessica Simpson (her debut scent). It’s unabashedly sweet and decadent, and it’s exactly the kind of cuddly, cozy fragrance I want to wear on a chilly autumn day.

This gourmand treat opens with sweet pear, syrupy apricot and sugary red berries. The top notes may be purely fruity, but the rich, dessert-like notes in the base are already rising up at this point. My first impression of Fancy, when I initially sprayed it on, was that it was very, very sweet but not youthful. It doesn’t smell like the candied, cheap body sprays that young teens wear. It’s rich and creamy, and wraps around you like a soft cashmere sweater. It just radiates warmth and soft femininity.

As the fragrance evolves into the heart, the most prominent notes that give Fancy its main characteristics come into play. Voluptuous jasmine and gardenia are the only two flowers in the scent but they are barely detectable. They just add an underlying sexiness, an almost animalic quality that compliments the creamy caramel and sugared almonds perfectly. It’s in the heart of the fragrance where Fancy is truly at its best. At this point, I can hardly stop sniffing my wrist. Seriously, I could happily drown in Fancy.

Like a fairytale, Fancy is a romantic fragrance that ends as beautifully as it began. Staying true to the cuddly, gourmand nature of the scent, the three notes that are left on your skin are vanilla, amber and sandalwood. It’s slightly spicy, milky and sexy. It’s soft and delicate and is only strong enough to smell when leaning in for a hug. My boyfriend loves when I wear Fancy. Honestly, he rarely notices the perfumes I wear, so the fact that he actually verbalizes that he likes this scent, says it all. If you enjoy sweet, dessert-like scents and orientals, or are looking for a romantic scent for a date, then give Fancy a try. It’s super cheap (I got my 50ml bottle for $25) but stands up to more expensive designer juices. It’s one of my favorite fall scents and if you love vanilla, you are going to be obsessed with this yummy perfume.

Have you smelled Fancy before? What’s your favorite fall scent?

xoxo,

Alicia

Fragrance Friday | Poison Girl by Dior

poison-girl-dior-editorial-collage
NAME OF FRAGRANCE | Poison Girl by Dior
NOTES | Bitter Orange, Lemon, Damask Rose, Grasse Rose,  Orange Blossom, Tonka Bean, Sandalwood, Vanilla, Almond, Tolu Balsam, Cashmeran, Heliotrope

VIBE | SultryCuddly, Comforting, Romantic, Feminine, Yummy, Flirty

When it comes to sweet and sexy date night scents, I already have a few favorites tucked away in my arsenal. I love Jessica Simpson’s peaches and cream confection ‘Fancy Love‘ for a romantic dinner with my boyfriend, and Viktor & Rolf’s Bonbon for an, ahem, night time dalliance. Who knew that both of these scents would be knocked out of the way as soon as Dior released their uber-popular fragrance Poison Girl in January of 2016? Sweet yet not sugary and almost overwhelmingly sultry, Poison Girl is the perfect juice for when you feel like getting busy, whether that means a night out club hopping with your lady friends, or, you know.

As I mentioned before, Poison Girl is a very popular fragrance and has been raved about by bloggers/vloggers, instagram influencers, magazines – you name it. Because I like to wear perfume that not everyone else is wearing, it took me a while to give this succulent scent a try. After spritzing a bit on my wrist while browsing around Sephora, I instantly understood what all the fuss was about. It’s delicious. It’s decadent. It’s everything you want in an evening fragrance without any of the cheapness that is often associated with gourmands. Even though it’s called Poison Girl, it has a sophisticated quality that feels very womanly and sensual.

This aphrodisiac of a fragrance opens with two citrus notes – bitter orange and Sicilian lemon. Normally, when citrus fruits open up a fragrance, the impression is fresh, sporty, sometimes astringent. This is not the case with Poison Girl. It’s as if the orange and lemon have been rolled in granulated sugar. The effect is juicy and somewhat candy-like as opposed to clean and airy.

As the mouthwatering fruits in the top begin to fade, the opulent florals in the heart take centre stage. What flowers are these you ask? Velvety damask and grasse roses alongside a sweet hint of orange blossom. One rose note is often enough to take over an entire scent and make the whole effect very rosy and floral. Luckily, orange blossom is a very light, slightly sweet white flower that really softens up the roses and ties together the notes of the top, heart and base. While the heart is composed entirely of flowers, at this point in the scent I can already smell the sweet, creamy notes in the base rising up. This creates an unabashedly sexy aroma that is lightly floral, balsamic and dessert-like all at the same time. If I was in lust at first spritz, I knew I was falling in love when the scent warmed into the heart notes.

Unlike a lot of scents out there that dry into pale musk and unidentifiable woods, Poison Girl is as delicious in the dry down as it is when you first spray it on. With ultra sweet notes like tonka bean, vanilla, almond and tolu balsam, the only thing that prevents the base from smelling like a gourmet dessert buffet (and really, there would have been nothing wrong with that), is the floral touch of heliotrope. It’s not enough to give the end of the scent a strongly floral feel, but it does soften the other notes with a touch of feminine sophistication. Poison Girl’s dry down is creamy and rich with just a hint of flowers and although it’s hard to pick a favorite part of this stunning scent, I think the drydown takes the sweet almond rose-water cake.

In conclusion, Poison Girl completely lives up to all of the hype. It’s decadent and sexy yet utterly feminine and romantic. It’s the kind of perfume that men love and women compliment as well. While I think it’s best suited for evening occasions, it’s refined enough to wear to more formal affairs – a ornate black-tie dress would go just as well with Poison Girl as a slinky beaded romper that you would wear to the bar. Despite its rich, dessert-like notes, it’s not overpowering (provided that you don’t overspray – one to three spritzes is all anyone needs) and so if you fall head over heels, there’s no reason you shouldn’t make it your new everyday signature. If you are a romantic, a chocolate and flowers kind of girl who loves the finer (ahem, more expensive) things in life, than you are going to adore Poison Girl. And frankly, so will everyone around you. It sounds like a lot of fluff and hype, but really, it’s that good.

Have you tried Dior’s Poison Girl yet? Do you like it better than the original Poison? Let me know what your thoughts were in the comments!

xoxo,

Alicia

Falling For Fall | 6 Cozy Autumn Candles

I’m a scent-aholic and so one of my favorite things about fall is filling my home with cozy smelling candles inspired by the delicious aromas of autumn. Candles, and scents in general, can do wonders for creating a specific atmosphere and mood. For example, if I want to relax and unwind, I might light a candle scented with vanilla, woods or lavender. If I want to feel cozy and creative, I’ll light smokier scents with apple, tobacco, cinnamon or caramel. Whether it’s the perfume you wear or the candles you light, scent is such a personal, intimate thing and everyone has their own preferences and opinions on what makes a perfect fall candle. Some prefer sweet pumpkin spice latte scents, while others like candles that mimic the smells of nature – fallen leaves and dewy apple orchards. Whatever your preferences, I am positive that one of these delectable fall candles will tickle your fancy. Here’s to all of the warm and fuzzy feelings and delicious smells that fall brings!


1 // Bath and Body Works – Leaves

NOTES: Red Apple, Golden Nectar, Clove Spice

Leaves from Bath and Body Works is an autumn classic and is one of the candles that I repurchase year after year. It’s sweet and spicy but still fresh, reminiscent of a brisk but sunny fall day spent crunching through fallen leaves in a tranquil park. It’s utterly pleasant and a fail-safe crowd pleaser. I’ve yet to meet a soul that didn’t adore Leaves!


2 // Byredo – Treehouse

NOTES: Bamboo, Pimento, Hay, Labdanum, Myrrh, Leather

If you lean towards green, outdoorsy scents, you are sure to fall head over heels for this refreshing candle. It reminds me of fragrant pine needles, dew-laden grass and fallen leaves. Oh, and apparently it’s Taylor Swift’s favorite!


3 // Max Benjamin – Coffee and Cardamom

NOTES: Coffee, Cardamom, Patchouli, Rose and Vanilla

Is there anything more mouthwatering than the smell of hot coffee in the morning? Only if it’s laced with exotic cardamom, voluptuous rose and creamy vanilla. This sensual candle is exactly what I want to light when I want to cuddle up on the couch with my boyfriend. The definition of cozy.


4 // Nectar Republic – Autumn Pear

NOTES: Fresh Pear, Caramel, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Vanilla

If bakery-inspired scents are your jam, then look no further than this drool-worthy candle. With nuances of juicy pear and creamy caramel and cinnamon, it smells exactly like a poached pear tart. Light this bad boy and everyone will be wondering what delectable confection you’ve been baking.


5 // Frostbite Studios – Sherlock’s Study

NOTES: Pipe Tobacco, Cherrywood, Fresh Rain

Channel your inner recluse detective and enjoy the mysterious aromas of smokey pipe tobacco and cherrywood. A clean rain accord brings a slight freshness to the candle that reminds me of days spent in a musty study, reading with tea in front of a rain spattered window. It’s very unique and completely sets itself apart from other atypical fall scents.


6 // Often Wander – Apple, Ginger & Sandalwood

NOTES: Apple, Ginger and Sandalwood (obvs)

When it comes to fall scents, the smell of apple and ginger is a classic. This sweet and spicy combination reminds me of a juicy wedge of apple pie, but without all of the guilt and calories. It’s also made with clean-burning soy wax which lasts a lot longer than other waxes, so you can enjoy this delicious candle for ages and ages!

Do you have a favorite fall candle? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

xoxo,

Alicia