Designer Spotlight | Justine Brooks

Justine-Brooks_Jewelry

Photos via Justine Brooks

Blending international intrigue with familiar nature-inspired motifs, Justine Brooks has built a name for herself in Canada and around the world for her eponymous label which combines precious metals with raw stones and ultra-realistic shapes (think anatomically correct hearts, pine cones, cedar leaves and succulents). Justine launched her brand in 2005 after graduating from both the Emily Carr Institute Of Art & Design and Vancouver Community College’s Jewelry Art and Design Program. Beyond her love for design and jewelry, Justine is a passionate traveler and has explored the globe from top to bottom, visiting breathtaking places throughout Asia, the Middle East, Africa and more. In fact, this globe-trotter first fell in love with jewelry and design in 2005 while learning traditional jewelry-making techniques in India. This passion for travel is evident in Justine’s designs. Sometimes it’s a stone, sometime’s its a colour combination and sometimes its a shape or technique, but there is always an international feel to Justine’s designs and multiculturalism is woven into the core of her brand and her vision. I have loved her designs since I first discovered her pieces in Forsya (a lovely but now closed boutique that used to reside on Vancouver’s eclectic Main Street. You can still shop them online though!). I loved the way her pendant, earrings and charms resembled items found in nature in such a realistic way. Her itty-bitty silver pinecones and acorns looked just like the ones I would find while walking through Stanley Park. Her pieces have such a stunning simplicity to them and can be worn with anything – from weekend wear to a wedding dress. These are pieces that are meant to be worn and treasured, everyday. While it’s hard to pick favourites, scroll on to see 10 pieces that are on my wish list!

 

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MY PICKS

1 // Tiny Cedar Earrings

2 // Rose Double Deer Antler Pendant

3 // Hammered Wave Ring

4 // Moonstone Charm Bracelet

5 // Tiny Pinecone Charm Necklace

6 // Fiddlehead Fern Necklace

7 // Anatomical Brain Pendant

8 // Wave & Sunshine Necklace

9 // Raw Opal Studs

10 // Moon + Star Opal Silver Ring

xoxo,

Alicia

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Autumn Candles To Give You All The Cozy Feels

Scent style your space with sumptuous fall fragrances that will make your inner basic squee with glee! I’m a huge candle addict. I’m currently sitting in my living room which contains no less than 13 candles. Do I have a problem? Forget switching up your wardrobe from season to season. I like to switch up my candles. Fall calls for warm and cozy scents like baked apples, smoky woods and sweet spices. And maybe a touch of whiskey if you’re feeling saucy. Read on for a rundown of my favorite fall candles. You’re bound to find at least one (or six) that tickle your fancy.


1 // Bath & Bodyworks – Balsam 3-Wick Candle

Notes: Pine, Cedarwood, Eucalyptus

This smells like a crisp walk in the woods on a sunny day. Balsam smells exactly (and I do mean exactly) like the needles of a Christmas tree mixed with cool morning air. As a Pacific-northwest dwelling gal, there’s nothing more comforting than the spicy-fresh smell of a coniferous forest.

2 // Diptyque – Thé Candle

Notes: Bergamot, Coriander, Thyme, Sage

This gorgeous candle is the olfactory equivalent of a steaming hot cup of fragrant black tea. Spicy and herbal with just a touch of sweetness, it’s as comforting as your favourite brew.

3 // Byredo – Peyote Poem

Notes: Clove Bud, Juniper Berries, Fir, Hyacinth, Tonka Bean, Black Amber, Patchouli, Vanilla

As if we needed any more proof that Byredo is the bougie candle boss, this stunning blend is everything you could want in a fall candle and more. It’s sweet with notes of tonka bean and vanilla with a touch of forest-inspired greenness and bakery spices. Light it and enjoy being wrapped in a blanket of cuddly autumn deliciousness.

4 // Whiskey Wicks – Apple Pickin’ Wood Wick Candle

Notes: Apples, Spice

I mean, it’s impossible to go wrong with the smell of just-baked apples and cinnamon. It smells like home, pie and comfort. It’s not basic, it’s beautifully classic and is a must-have as soon as the leaves start to change! This handmade gem lasts for ages so your home can smell like a spicy apple tart through until December.

5 // Bath & Bodyworks – Maple Cinnamon Pancakes

Notes: Nutmeg, Maple, Buttermilk Pancake Accord

There’s quite frankly nothing more decadent than a late-morning breakfast of sumptuous buttermilk pancakes smothered in sticky maple syrup. This fall-addition from Bath & Bodyworks captures the essence of your favourite breakfast treat and leaves your home smelling warm, sweet and delicious!

6 // Makers Of Wax Goods – Bourbon Candle

Notes: Oaked Bourbon, Brandied Fruit, Raisins, Smoked Spices, Amber, Woods

Light this bad boy and you’ll feel like a badass detective in a black and white movie, smoking a luxury cigar while sitting in a leather armchair and sipping a glass of top-shelf bourbon. This smoky, woodsy aroma is unique and sultry. It’s utterly intoxicating and always puts me in the mood. Plus how cool is the outer design?

See? There are other fall smells besides pumpkin spice! Which one of these appeals to you the most?

xoxo,

Alicia

Designer Spotlight | Vestige Story

Photos via Vestige Story

If minimalist silhouettes, rustic fabrics and earthy colours are your go-to, then Vestige Story is sure to become one of your favourite indie labels! This Vancouver-based brand was created by Aileen Lee in 2015 with the aim of offering simple, easy-to-wear pieces with subtle yet unique details. Sustainability, craftsmanship and a deep appreciation for timeless quality are at the heart of this brand. The best part? Everything is made locally, in Vancouver B.C. using minimal waste techniques! Most of their pieces are made with natural fabrics and some of the fabrics are even crafted out of recycled materials like water bottles. Specifically designed for the creative individual – the sculptures, artists, crafters, designers of the world – these pieces are flowy and comfortable. They breathe and move with the wearer. Season-less. Timeless. Made for makers. They let the wearer steal the show. As somewhat of a fabric snob, I immediately fell in love with their beautiful textures and insane attention to detail. Scroll on to see my top ten favourites from their latest collection!

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MY PICKS

1 // Washi Blouse in Mustard

2 // Saya Culottes in Navy

3 // Bushi Jumpsuit in Rust

4 // Milieu Double Weave Jumpsuit

5 // Ashura Dress in Navy

6 // Dahlia Coat in Tan

7 // Kana Coat in Gold

8 // Kensho Coat in Navy

9 // Earthen Sweater in Earth

10 // Priori Top in Cream

xoxo,

Alicia

5 Red Lipsticks for Under $15 To Help You Channel Your Inner Old-Hollywood Siren

Is there anything more glamorous or bold that a red lip? It’s the beauty go-to of effortlessly stylish French women, retro Hollywood starlets and film noir femme fatales. Not everybody feels comfortable rocking a scarlet pout, but after a few tries, I have a feeling even the most sceptical will become believers. Even if I’m not wearing a stitch of makeup, I put on a swipe of red lipstick. It instantly makes one look put together and it brightens up the face like nothing else. Despite the notion that makeup needs to be expensive and from Sephora to be high-quality, these five lipsticks rival even the most coveted brands in terms of look, feel, and longevity. The best part? They retail for less than $15. Because beauty shouldn’t bring you to bankruptcy.


1 // Maybelline – Superstay Long-Lasting Matte Liquid Lipstick in Pioneer

I say this in the most complimentary way possible – I am not convinced that this stuff can’t be used as furniture varnish. It goes on as a glossy liquid (that smells like vanilla) and then dries to a plush matte finish. It’s not too drying, which I love, and it lasts forever. I truly have to scrub vigorously at the end of the day to get it off, which some may consider to be a negative, but I love that I hardly ever have to reapply. It’s also totally kiss, meal and nap-proof. I’ve done the leg-work.

2 // L’Oréal Paris – Colour Riche Matte Lipstick in Blake’s Red

As further proof that Blake Lively has the best style ever and can do no wrong, this sensual red is the most flattering shade I own. It’s subtle blue undertones make my skin glow and my teeth look whiter (a helpful tip – blue undertones equals a much brighter smile). It’s also very hydrating. I wear it anytime with anything. It’s classic and works for the office but also has a glamorous retro feel that is perfect for night.

3 // ColourPop – Disney Designer Collection Crème Lux Lipstick in Snow White

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Snow White is my favourite princess. She’s just such an ultra-feminine babe with the best style – case in point, her penchant for a ruby red pout. So obviously when I saw this lipstick from ColourPop’s Disney Designer Collection, I had to press ‘add to cart’. It’s a deep crimson with a barely there sheen that isn’t glossy but adds a dimension that matte lipsticks can’t achieve. ColourPop, as usual, knocks it out of the park with this lipstick. It’s highly pigmented and doesn’t fade for hours on end. Just as magical as Snow White.

4 // Maybelline – Colour Sensational Lipstick in Are You Red-dy?

This stuff is so hydrating you would think it was a lip balm. It also smells delish – kind of like buttercream icing. I love this garnet-like hue and the glossy finish. It has dark blue undertones which I love because some red lipsticks are far too orange for my skin tone. My only critique – it’s so moisturizing and glossy that it tends to bleed a bit. Make sure to use a mirror when you apply and blot to avoid a makeout mouth.

5 // Revlon – Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor Moisturizing Lipstick in Romance

Lightweight yet richly pigmented, this wax-free formula goes on like a sheer, airy veil and dries to a velvety finish that makes my lips look lush and full. In terms of longevity, it’s kind of average but it is very moisturizing. This bright red hue is ultra-glamorous with a coquettish old-Hollywood feel that I simply adore.

Are you a fan of red lipstick? Which one is your go-to?

xoxo,

Alicia

A Bite Of A Poison Apple

Ruby red lips, waist-cinching tea dresses, a cute little bob adorned with a silk bow – Snow White may have been the fairest of them all but she also had style more wicked than the queen who sought out to have her killed. Lately a matte painted lip has been my go-to beauty look, inspired by sweet miss Snow White. Take it from me, there is NOTHING that will make you look more glamorous or put together, even if you are rocking second day hair and a sweater with bleach stains like I am today. Lush velvet, intricate brocade, ornate embroidery and oh-so-delicate lace – these are the staples of fairy-tale fashion. Need a few examples? Scroll on for elegant ensembles that would make Snow White herself swoon and Prince Charming want more than a kiss.

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1 // Dynamite – Off-The-Shoulder Crop Top in Snow White

2 // NARS – Semi-Matte Lipstick in Jungle Red

3 // Alexander McQueen – Gothic Fairytale Mini Skirt

4 // R&M Richards – Nightway Sparkle-Embellished Tulle Gown

5 // Stella + Ruby – Rose Drop Earrings

6 // Masscob – Floral Brocade Trousers

7 // Xerjoff – Alexandria li Eau De Parfumerie

8 // Kemekiss – Mary-Jane Pumps in Red Suede

9 // St. Xavier – Damask Velvet Clutch

10 // Macy’s – Lab-Created Ruby & White Sapphire Sterling Silver Ring

xoxo,

Alicia

September Beauty Picks

There is something in the air in September. More so than January, September feels like a fresh start. A chance to revamp our wardrobes, touch up our beauty routines and work on accomplishing all of those ‘new year, new me’ goals before the year is over. I especially love to overhaul my skincare arsenal during this time of year. After all, the foundation of any beauty routine truly is supple, lit-from-within skin. From a juicy mask that replenishes my sun-parched skin to a rich night cream that stimulates collagen and cell renewal, these are the items that are helping me maintain my healthy complexion from summer through fall and winter. Ready, set, glow.

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1// Caudalie – Resveratrol [Lift] Night Infusion Cream

I’ve recently introduced night creams into my routine with the hopes of keeping my skin healthy and youthful for as long as possible. I’m 24 years old but prevention is better than intervention! Caudalie is one of my favourite French brands, thanks to their consistent use of grapeseed oil and resveratrol – the same antioxidant found in grapes and wine (aka the nectar of the Gods). This luxurious formula is a best-seller and for good reason. It goes on rich but sinks in immediately, hydrating without leaving a greasy or sticky film. After putting this on, I woke up to a fresh face that truly looked brighter and more even. It’s a little pricey but, considering I saw results so quickly, I think its totally worth it.

2 // Colour Pop – Ultra Satin Lip Colour in The Rabbit

My favourite beauty look this fall is a bare (yet even) complexion with minimal eye makeup and a juicy, vibrant pout. This fuchsia hue has blue undertones that completely flatter my ivory skin tone while bringing it to life. I also love that it goes on liquid and dries to a plush, velvety matte that lasts for ages.

3 // Cake – Heavy Cream Buttery Sugar Body Balm Scrub

Polish away dead skin cells with this decadent concoction from Canadian brand Cake Beauty. Chock full of skin-loving ingredients such as shea butter, aloe, and vitamin E, this ultra-hydrating scrub deeply nourishes skin, leaving it as soft as silk instantly. It also smells just like freshly baked French vanilla cake with just a drizzle of caramel.

4 // Fresh Beauty – Limited-Edition Sugar Peach Hydrating Lip Balm

Banish chapped lips and leave a pretty peachy tint with this sweetly scented balm. It has a light but creamy texture that feels oh-so luxe. It’s also incredibly moisturizing with ingredients like grapeseed oil and vitamin E. Kissable lips that taste like peaches and cream in 3..2..1.

5 // LAB For You – Juice Up BlackBerry Mask

The key to a dewy complexion? Hydration, hydration, hydration. This antioxidant packed sheet mask deeply penetrates the skin, delivering juicy blackberry extracts right where you need it most. Not only is this mask a total moisture bomb, but it also evens out one’s complexion when used over time. Whether it’s mask Monday or a lazy Friday night, you’ll want to slap one of these bad boy on your face a few times a week.

What beauty products have you been falling in love with lately? Let’s chat in the comments xo.

xoxo,

Alicia

Fall Fashion Favourites

Ahh, autumn. The coziest, chicest time of year for fashion. There is nothing that delights me more than trading up my shorts, tees and sundresses for blanket scarves, floppy felt hats and boots galore. While the weather is still a touch too toasty for all my favourite seasonal staples, cooler days are approaching fast. Get ready for brisk autumn days with this capsule wardrobe. Menswear inspired tailored pieces. Rich jewel tones and earthy neutrals. Cuddly knitted pieces. These items capture all of my favorite fall trends!

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1 // BB Dakota – Jack By Say Anything Sweater

Is there anything better than curling up in a chunky sweater with a spicy latte in hand? I think not. This rich pumpkin hue screams fall as well!

2 // P.A.R.O.S.H. – Rioyshoe Bass Boots

Practical yet pretty, these utilitarian boots are effortlessly chic with a military vibe that is just the right amount of edgy. Plus they are sooo comfy.

3 // Dorfman Pacific – Autumn Leaf Felt Hat

I’m a hat girl through and through (there is nothing better for covering up Kramer-esque bed head). Splattered with the colours of fall leaves, this Indiana Jones inspired style will lend a boho babe flavour to any outfit.

4 // Out From Under – Autumn Striped Sweater Bodysuit

Slip this cozy number on for a perfect fit with your favourite skirt or pair of trousers. The chunky stripes and earthy palette have a 70s flair that is on-trend without being over the top. You’ll want to wear this with everything!

5 // Vero Moda – Silje Windowpane Jumpsuit

One and done – my favourite way to get dressed! This subtle windowpane print is an elegant way to wear plaid. This figure flattering jumpsuit is a little more ladies who lunch than lumberjack and will take you from brunch to the boardroom with ease.

6 // Vince Camuto – Plaid Tie-Waist Pencil Skirt

Forget the stuffy librarian-approved pencil skirts of books and movies! A high waist and feminine tie adds a girly sweetness that freshens up this prim and proper style. Pair with pumps for an elegant occasion or with studded flats for a British punk-inspired edge.

7 // Helmut Lang – High-Rise Wool Twill Pants in Autumn

Are supermodel long legs on your wish list? While these gorgeous trousers can’t alter your genetics, they will create the illusion of mile long gams thanks to the ultra high waist and wide leg style. This camel hue is also incredibly versatile and can be worn in your rotation through fall and winter and well into spring. It’s one of those classics your mama told you to invest in. She was right.

8 // Clare Vivier – Simple Tote in Army Suede with Navy, Marigold & Red

Stash all your stuff in this roomy tote reminiscent of an Ivy-league book bag. The colourful stripes add a collegiate flare that I love and the buttery soft suede is simply too luxe to say no to. It’s simple, stylish and perfect for everyday. It’s got everything that I love about Clare Vivier’s bags. It’s timeless with that quirky je ne sais quoi that makes it stand out from the pack. The perfect blend of preppy, pretty and practical!

Which piece is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!

xoxo,

Alicia