September Beauty Picks


I, like so many others, have always been mesmerized by french ladies’ effortless yet completely elegant approach to beauty. Slightly messy hair, ruby red lips and creamy lit within skin seems to be the parisien go-to formula – at least in my mind. So while I take a few other cues from french culture in terms of my diet and attitude (eat until satisfied and no more, drink water and feel no guilt about indulging in a glass of wine with dinner and a bit of chocolate for dessert), my focus in my beauty routine is on hydrated, healthy skin, shiny yet slightly unkempt hair and sultry red lips. So far it has been serving me well and I think it will serve you too! So behold, my five favorite french-inspired beauty products that have become staples for me. Enjoy!

1 // Skoah – Hydradew Mask

Fruit is good for your body, so you just know that it’s good for your face! Hyaluronic acid, sea kelp, algae and vegetable extracts help to deeply hydrate your skin, leaving your complexion soft as a baby’s bottom and healthy. Plus it smells like grapes and feels super light and refreshing!

2 // Pixi – Glow Tonic

I’ll admit, I used to pretty skeptical about toners but this silky elixir has me in love. Ginseng and aloe vera help to brighten and soothe the skin while glycolic acid purifies and helps to remove toxins from deep inside your pores. Simply dip a cotton ball in this magic potion and cleanse any remaining makeup, dirt and oil off your face after you use your regular face wash.

3 // French Girl – Hair Rose Revive Oil

Deeply moisturize unruly tresses with this richly hydrating, but still non-greasy, hair oil. Argan oil is rich in nourishing fatty acids, while rosehip, hemp and tamanu oils condition the scalp, which is often the source of hair troubles. The rich floral scent of rosemary and rose geranium is stress-relieving and has properties that help to repair damaged hair. Basically, it does it all and you need it now. Not to be bossy.

4 // NARS – Semi Matte Lipstick in Jungle Red

There’s nothing like a swipe of red lipstick to make me feel polished and pretty. Even if my skin is misbehaving and my hair is frizzy (thank you cold weather), a ruby red pout makes me feel like Katharine Hepburn. This shade feels retro and powerful. I love wearing it to work, in the evenings. Any old time. Red is my go-to come fall and winter and this formula (although expensive) is hydrating, and lasts for ages.

5 // Benefit Cosmetics – Dandelion Box ‘O’ Powder Blush

Perfecting that no-makeup-makeup look is a bit tricky but this illuminating blush from Benefit makes it a bit easier. It’s a very subtle shade – a rosy ballet slipper pink – and has just enough shimmer to make your skin look refreshed and bright without that clown effect that a lot of blushes give. It’s a cult-favorite for a reason and is a godsend when you haven’t had enough sleep and need to look like a human being.

What are your favorite beauty product right now? Let me know in the comments!

xoxo,

Alicia

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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

Beauty Of The Vine

I’ll be perfectly honest – there are very few things I love more than wine. I adore wine. Unwinding after work with a glass full of pinot grigio or merlot is pretty much the highlight of my day. Aside from it’s delicious taste and ability to help us relax, wine is also packed full of antioxidants and other skin-beautifying properties. Everyone knows that a glass of red wine a day is good for your health, but who knew that it could do wonders for your skin as well? From diminishing the signs of aging to deeply hydrating and evening out one’s skin tone, there’s very little that this magical elixir can’t do beauty-wise. Now, I’m not suggesting that we all go home and start chugging cabernet sauvignon by the bottle (that will only leave you looking ruddy and bloated), but these six wine-infused products pack all of the beneficial vitamins and antioxidants as our favorite beverage, but with none of the calories or, ahem, other side effects. So here’s to having more vino in our lives, in our glasses and on our faces. Bottom’s up.

WINE BEAUTY PICKS

wine-infused-beauty-products

1 // Vine Vera Resveratrol Skin Care – Merlot Collection Moisture Day Cream

Drawing skin-perfecting power from wine’s magic component – resveratrol – this splurge-worthy moisturizing cream deeply hydrates and evens out one’s skin tone. If you’re looking for a powerful anti aging cream that will even out discolouration, this is your best bet.

2 // DeAge – Red Wine Essence

Anything that claims to be the essence of wine has instantly captured my attention. Just a drop or two will penetrate deeply into the layers of your skin, improving tone, texture and elasticity. It also feels super luxurious and absorbs instantly!

3 // TONYMOLY – Pore Care Red Wine Sheet Face Mask

What could be more indulgent than sipping a glass of wine while donning a face mask? Well, this wine-fused sheet mask is here to answer that question. With antioxidant rich jasmine juice and resveratrols from red wine, this inexpensive mask works better than a ton of masks from luxury brands!

4 // Arcona – Wine Oil (Repair AM/PM)

Nothing quenches thirsty skin better than a facial oil, especially if it’s loaded with ultra-nourishing grape seed oil and extract. This lightweight oil is like food for your face with all of the proteins, carbohydrates, fats and polyphenols your skin needs to be healthy and radiant! It’s a splurge, but it’s worth every penny.

5 // Labiotte – Chateau Wine Lip Balm

Your lips will love the silky texture of this balm – not to mention the just-bitten berry hue! This moisturizing formula is enriched with hydrating grape seed oil and Chateau Margaux wine extract, which acts as a natural chemical exfoliant. If satin-smooth, lush lips are your beauty MO (and really, why wouldn’t they be), then this luxe balm is an instant add-to-cart!

6 // Holika Holika – Wine Therapy Sleeping Masks (White & Red Wine)

Whether you’re more of a red or white wine kind of gal, there’s a sleeping mask for you! First, the wine barrel-inspired packaging is adorable. Second, these masks smell delicious. Third, they actually do what they are supposed to. If you’re looking to reduce fine lines and discolouration, slather on a bit of the red mask. Is hydration your concern? A little bit of the white mask will do the trick in no time. If you’re feeling saucy, double dip both masks to address both issues at the same time!

Have you tried any wine skincare products? What were your thoughts on the results? Let me know what you think!

xoxo,

Alicia

June Beauty Picks


The last few weeks have been a whirlwind for me. I tried surfing for the first time in Tofino, I started a new marketing campaign at work, and I’ve been busy studying for tedious quizzes and midterms in my Macro Economics class. It’s just been go-go-go! My busy schedule combined with the rising temperatures have resulted in a pared down beauty routine centered around frizz-free hair, clear, sun-burn free skin, and pretty toes. When I’m sweating profusely as soon as I leave the house, I have no desire to pile on makeup or do anything complex to my hair. A bit of sunscreen, a swipe of lip balm, a palmful of mousse and I’m good to go. Here’s to summer, winding down after winding up, and low-maintenance beauty!

1 // Arbonne – Pure Vibrance Texturizing Mousse

This sweet smelling mousse not only keeps my unruly strands frizz-free, but it does so without leaving my hair sticky or crunchy. I’m not usually a big fan of mousse for the above reasons, but this baby ticks all my boxes.

2 // Benefit – Dandelion Brightening Finishing Powder

I love when beauty products can do double or triple duty (it’s the multi-tasking type A in me). This sweet shade of petal pink is so subtle, you can hardly tell you’re wearing makeup. It acts as a blush AND highlighter, but all anyone will see is glowing, radiant skin.

3 // Fresh – Sugar Lip Treatment in Rosé

My boyfriend actually got me this for Christmas last year (I’m spoiled, I know) and I immediately fell in love with it. I was always hesitant to spend so much money on a lip balm, but after using it constantly over the past six months, I know I’m going to repurchase it as soon as I run out. It’s hydrating, smells subtly of roses, and leaves the prettiest strawberry sheen on my lips. This is a god-send.

4 // Essie – Nail Polish in Mint Candy Apple

I love sorbet-inspired nail polishes on my toes in the summer (I keep things neutral when it comes to my finger nails). This sweet shade reminds me of mint chocolate chip icecream and absolutely pops against a tan!

5 // Neutrogena – Clear Face Liquid Lotion Sunblock

I’ve always hated wearing sunscreen on my face. It always feels heavy and sticky. I practically feel my pores clogging with SPF-infused goo. Not the case with this bad boy. This liquid formula goes on light as air and sinks in immediately, so even though my face is protected from sun-damage, I feel like I’m wearing nothing at all. If you’re weird about sunscreen on your face like me, then I highly recommend this sunblock from Neutrogena. Afterall, no one wants skin cancer (not to mention wrinkles or age spots)!

xoxo,

Alicia

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

Chocolate Face Mask DIY


Photo via Hello Glow

Let’s face it – most of us are addicted to chocolate. And while my favorite way to indulge with this sweet treat is to eat it, cocoa (what chocolate is made from) is actually packed full of antioxidants and other nutrients that are great for your complexion. This mask DIY is inspired by the ever-so-popular Cupcake mask from LUSH, but with my own tweaks to make it more moisturizing and suitable for my dry and sensitive skin. It’s comprised of only five ingredients and most of them can be found in your fridge. So kick back and relax with this super indulgent mask, a glass of wine, and your favorite Netflix series. Just try not to eat it! 

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

  • 1 Tsp Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 Cup Kaolin Powder
  • 1/2 Plain Yogurt
  • 1/2 Tsp Vanilla Absolute
  • 1 Tsp Honey 

Cocoa Powder – Rich in antioxidants, cocoa powder helps to detoxify your skin of the harmful free radicals in the environment. It gives the skin a healthy glow while keeping it supple and youthful.

Kaolin – This absorbent clay sops up excess oil and purges skin of impurities. 

Plain Yogurt – Unsweetened yogurt soothes irritated skin and acts as a natural moisturizer. The lactic acid also acts as a gentle exfoliant, dissolving dead skin cells.

Vanilla Absolute – This yummy smelling essential oil calms redness and gives the skins a more even appearance.

Honey – Honey has been used for centuries as a natural moisturizer and antiseptic. Not only does it zap zits and kill bacteria, it also acts as a humectant, drawing moisture from the environment and into your skin. 

DIRECTIONS

1) Measure out the dry ingredients (cocoa powder and kaolin) and set aside in a small bowl. Mix until the kaolin and cocoa powder are well blended. 

2) Next add the yogurt, vanilla absolute, and honey. The mask should have a paste-like consistency that is similar to icing (it will smell like icing too!). If you don’t like the consistency of your mask, customize it by adding more yogurt or more kaolin. 

3) Spread the mask over your entire face, avoiding the delicate area around your eyes. Leave on for ten minutes, then wash off and apply moisturizer. 

4) Enjoy your silky soft, matte skin!

If you give this mask a try, let me know what you think in the comments! I hope you enjoy it!

xoxo,

Alicia