November 21, 2014

Rocky Mountain Soap Company Opens in Vancouver

I first encountered Rocky Mountain Soap Company when I lived in Calgary (the company started in Canmore, Alberta), and then again when I attended the ChickAdvisor Showcase this past summer. As a Canadian-owned and -operated business, Rocky Mountain specializes in 100% natural and toxin-free products, using only the finest essential oils, pure natural beeswax, food grade vegetable oils, real grains, fresh herbs, fruits, and vegetables.

With this philosophy, it makes perfect sense that the company has decided to expand to Vancouver where we obviously love everything green and environmentally conscious. This month sees the opening of two new concept stores: one downtown in the Bentall Centre and the other in Burnaby at Metrotown.

I was kindly sent a few products to test out and I have really been enjoying their addition to my usual skincare routine. At bedtime, I begin by applying 2 pumps of the Rosehip Transformative Cleansing Oil to a cotton pad. The oil is fairly good at wiping away makeup and dirt but if I'm wearing a lot of makeup, I do prefer to do a full wash with a cleanser first. Next, I spritz on the Aloe Vera Hydrating Toner and wipe it off with a cotton pad. I prefer natural toners like this one since many commercial toners contain alcohol which can be very drying. I usually alternate moisturizers depending on how my skin is feeling, but have been experimenting with the Pomegranate Day Cream every few days. The cream feels light but rich and absorbs quickly. The best part, however, is the scent which I can really only describe as "delicious" (ha ha, sorry that is so not descriptive).

Rocky Mountain Soap Company was founded in 1995 to make natural soap by hand so trying their soap is a must as well. The Sugar Plum Soap is a limited edition holiday product which would make a great stocking stuffer. The scent is subtle but a little spicy and the bar contains gorgeous purple swirls throughout, making it a pretty addition to your sink or bathtub as well.

November 17, 2014

Greyed Out

If you follow me on Instagram (if you don't, what are you waiting for?), you may have already gotten a sneak peek of this outfit which has been on major repeat this season. As someone who rarely wears colour, black and white are always my go-tos but I've been injecting quite a bit of grey in lately as well. You can't go wrong with matte grey nails either, and I highly recommend this combination of American Apparel Factory Grey and Essie Matte About You Top Coat if you want to get the same look.

Shirt: Talula (Aritzia) / Sweater: Wilfred (Aritzia) / Pants: Babaton (Aritzia)
Booties: Sam  Edelman (all black and suede) / Hat: Holt Renfrew (similar)
Bag: Proenza Schouler (here)

November 14, 2014

L'Occitane En Provence: Arlésienne

L'Occitane En Provence has always been one of those brands I keep meaning to try more of but never get around to for one reason or another. It's a shame really because I actually do like the products I have tried -- especially their Cherry Blossom Hand Cream, which comes packaged in L'Occitane's iconic painter tube. That's all about to change, however, since their gorgeous new flagship store happens to be very close to my office (hello lunch break pit stop!). I was lucky enough to be invited to their recent opening event where I was able to admire the thoughtful store design, learn more about the brand, its history, and explore some of their collections.

For those not familiar with the brand, L'Occitane is a family-owned French company that prides itself on its unique ingredients and signature scents. As I went around the store testing out products it became apparent to me that if you're looking for a good fragrance that's delicate, well-crafted, and not overpowering, this is where you should come.

This winter, they've released a new line called Arlésienne for Holiday 2014. Inspired by women in the South of France, the fragrance subtly blends saffron, rose, and violet. I usually don't like florals but Arlésienne is definitely an exception. The scent is sweet and feminine without being cloying and is perfect for daytime wear. I wish there was a way to transmit scent over the Internet because I would if I could -- it smells so good!

Shower Cream ($22 CAD) and EDT ($48 CAD) (c/o)

Be sure to check out the new collection, as well as L'Occitane's carefully curated gift sets for those on your Christmas shopping list. And if you're in Vancouver, the new store at the corner of Robson and Burrard is an absolute must-see.