December 21, 2011

A Touch of Paris (Longchamp Limited Edition Galeries Lafayette 2010)

In my "What's in my (work) bag?" post, I mentioned this limited edition Longchamp Galeries Lafayette 2010 Le Pliage tote that I picked up in Paris this summer. I was immediately drawn to its unique design, which pays tribute to the iconic dome architecture of Galeries Lafayette, one of Paris' premier department stores. This tote is one of the more special bags in my collection because just looking at it reminds me of all the great memories from my European vacation (which now feels like it happened forever ago).

To add a bit more "Paris" to my winter outerwear, I also decided to throw on the new angora beret that I recently won from Olivia at Stylestruck and Barefoot Contessa. The bow detailing is so cute!

Coat: Community (Aritzia) / Boots: Aldo / Hat: C.C Exclusives (Barefoot Contessa)
Gloves: Roots / Bag: Longchamp

December 18, 2011

OPI Nicki Minaj: Save Me

OPI  Nicki Minaj Save Me
The OPI x Nicki Minaj collaboration is set to launch in January, but it's already out in some stores (for my fellow Vancouverites, you can find it at Shifeon).

Although there are some great colours in the collection, I only picked up Save Me, a clear base with silver micro-glitter and silver and blue holographic bar glitters.

Bar glitters can be a little hard to work with in terms of placement and they and tend to drag if you don't allow each coat to dry properly. Thankfully drying time between coats was quite short with Save Me, so I didn't have too many problems with application. You will need a thick top coat though, since the polish does dry gritty and rough.

Save Me would make an interesting top coat over some darker colours, but three coats of it make a good standalone polish. The bar glitters give it a surprising 3D effect and it's quite striking on the nails... very blingy and reminiscent of fireworks!

December 14, 2011

Chain Print: Minkpink Excessive Shirt

Although I'm not generally a print person, I've been obsessively purchasing a lot of printed clothing lately. I find that I'm usually drawn to the same types of prints, and the gorgeous chain print on this over-sized boyfriend blouse is one of them (not ashamed to say I actually bought a chain print dress in the same order). 

For anyone who's interested, this is the "Excessive" Shirt by Minkpink, an Australian brand that I have recently fallen in love with. Not only do they have great prints, but unique cuts of clothing as well!

Blouse: Minkpink / Cardigan: gift / Leggings: TNA / Booties: Topshop
Belt: H&M / Clutch: Joe Fresh

December 9, 2011

What's In My Work Bag?

I've always enjoyed those "what's in my bag?" blog posts and Youtube videos, so why not do my own? I personally love seeing what people carry with them on a daily basis... it's funny how some are super minimalistic while others seem to carry their entire lives with them. I think I fit somewhere in the middle, but I'll let you guys be the judges of that!

Since the majority of my week is spent at work, I decided it made most sense to show my work bag. Evenings and weekends I tend to carry a lot less in a different/smaller purse (usually my Marc by Marc Jacobs Hillier Hobo).

Anyway, so here is my black Longchamp Le Pliage "Shopping" Tote (I also have a purple one and a limited edition red Galeries Lafayette one from Paris) and what's inside:


WALLET
My beloved Miu Miu Matelasse wallet (in pale pink, stone, and sea blue), which was a gift from my bf. It holds all my cards and money, of course!

MAKE-UP BAG
This is the Tory Burch Brigitte Cosmetic Case in "Dakar" (different prints here, here, and here). It fits quite a bit but I try not to carry too much makeup around with me because not only can it get heavy but I'm afraid of losing my favourite or limited edition products somehow. Maybe I'm just paranoid, haha.

BUS PASS
If I drove to work, parking would cost me a fortune so it's much cheaper for me to take transit. Thankfully my bus ride is only 15-20 minutes; I don't know if I could handle a super long commute!

WATER
Staying hydrated is essential so I try to carry a bottle of water with me at all times. Usually I have a refillable Bobble but recently I've been drinking this Icelandic Glacial natural spring water. It tastes great, is the world's first carbon neutral water brand, and I love the glacier-inspired bottles. Random but cool fact: Parfums Christian Dior recently selected Icelandic Glacial as a key ingredient in its new line of skincare products!

PLANNER
I'm obsessed with organization so I keep track of my entire life in my Moleskine, which is colour-coded thanks to my collection of Staedtler pens! Check out this post for an example of what it looks like on the inside.

SNACKS
I hate being hungry with nothing to eat so snacks are important. I usually carry a granola bar of some sort and/or fruit. This strawberry tupperware container was from Daiso, the Japanese $2 store. I couldn't resist, it was too cute!

UMBRELLA
It rains all the time here in Vancouver and I hate getting stuck without an umbrella. Especially in the Fall/Winter months, I always have one in my bag. This one is by Moschino.

EPI-PEN
I'm the queen of allergies (nuts, shellfish, most raw fruits and veggies, dust, pollen, hay fever, etc. etc.). Unfortunately my nut allergy is deadly so having an Epi-Pen on hand is a necessity.

CELLPHONE & HEADPHONES, GUM, KEYS


And here's a peak at a few of the things I carry in my makeup bag (other less exciting things include Band-Aids and bobby pins). I try to keep it to a minimum but always end up toting around a ton of lip products for some unknown reason.

Vasanti Lipshine in North Sea, Benefit Ultra Shines in Who Are You Wearing?, Paul & Joe L/E Lipgloss, MAC 
Lipglass in Nymphette, Chanel Rouge Coco Mademoiselle, MAC Hug Me Lipstick, EOS lip balm, Hello Kitty 
tissues, MAC Studio Fix, MAC Pressed Blot Powder, L'Occitane En Provence Cherry Blossom Hand Cream


If any of you have done a similar post or Youtube video, please post a link because I'd love to see!

December 6, 2011

Tiffany & Co. Nails (China Glaze For Audrey)


I've always loved the idea of having nails that match Tiffany & Co.'s infamous blue, and thanks to China Glaze's For Audrey, now they do!

If you've read my previous reviews of China Glaze (see here, for example), you'll know that I'm not the biggest fan of China Glaze's formulas and often find their polishes hard to work with. However, For Audrey didn't cause me any problems and was opaque in only two coats. The polish itself dries a little dull but nothing some top coat can't fix.

Taking from my "inspiration," I decided to use this mani to pay homage to the blue boxes Tiffany & Co. is known for. I didn't want to go overboard on every nail so these simple free-handed bows on my ring fingers created just the look I was going for.

And as a special treat for my readers, Nail Polish Canada is offering 50% off China Glaze For Audrey with the coupon code ALISONELLE (Expires Dec. 23, 2011).

If you haven't heard of Nail Polish Canada, it's a great alternative to sites like 8ty8beauty and Transdesign because shipping is much cheaper for Canadians, they have a wide selection of brands, and their hot deals section is pretty awesome. Plus, how can you not love a company with a sense of humour? Check out their charitable organization, Adopt A Polish, where you can give needy nail polish a new home!

December 2, 2011

Holiday Gift Guide: LUSH Home For Christmas Gift Set


A few weeks ago, I blogged about the Calgon Holiday Gift Sets and now I have another suggestion for those bath & body product lovers on your Christmas shopping list... none other than a LUSH Cosmetics holiday gift set! This year, LUSH has assembled a collection of festive holiday items and gift sets, a magical mix of old favourites and new goodies, which are all available for your gifting pleasure.

Take this great Home For Christmas Gift Set, for example, which not only comes in an adorable hatbox emblazoned with wintery scenes, but saves you from having to worry about gift wrap at the very same time. Take a look at what it includes:


Thanks to the wonderfully kind people at LUSH, I was able to happily test out the products in Home For Christmas and can now give you the full run-down in case you're thinking of picking this up for yourself or someone else.

CHRISTMAS EVE BUBBLE BAR
Christmas Eve is jasmine-scented, which is not my favourite scent. However, this was pleasant enough and made a ton of bubbles. Even though I'm not the biggest fan of jasmine, I did find my bath with this very relaxing and I loved how it turned the water blue.

GINGERBREAD HOUSE BUBBLE BAR
This is definitely one of the cutest bubble bars I've seen with its sprinkles, snow, and cinnamon stick chimney.  It smells spicy and sweet - perfect for holiday bathing.

THREE GOLD RINGS BUBBLE BAR
Along with the Gingerbread House Bubble Bar, I also loved the Three Gold Rings Bubble Bar because the scent is absolutely divine. It's a mixture of vanilla, sweet orange oil, and myrhh - yummy! Plus, it's formulated with soya milk powder to leave your skin extra soft.

LI'L LUSH PUD BATH BOMB
Li'l Lush Pud is apparently inspired by British Christmas pudding (which I've never had before), but it smells delicious, kind of sweet and clove-y. However, it is smaller in size than LUSH's other bath bombs so it fizzes and dissolves more quickly.

HONEY I WASHED THE KIDS SOAP
Like most LUSH products, Honey I Washed The Kids smells almost good enough to eat. Its featured ingredient is honey and it quite literally smells like toffee-fudge. I loved the texture of this soap (very soft) but for optimal longevity, you're supposed to keep it away from water between uses. I didn't the first time I used it and I guess it melted somehow because almost 1/4 was gone when I went to use it the next day. Learned my lesson!

IT'S RAINING MEN SHOWER GEL
It's Raining Men matches perfectly with Honey I Washed The Kids because it's the same scent! I liked this a lot more than the soap because the bottle prevents accidental "melting" and I can use it with my loufah.

DREAM CREAM HAND AND BODY LOTION
Along with Honey I Washed The Kids and It's Raining Men, Dream Cream is the other product in Home For Christmas that's available year-round as part of LUSH's permanent collection. I'm still unsure as to how I feel about this scent... sometimes I like it, sometimes I don't. I think it might be the lavender that gets me (not one of my favourites). This is supposed to be quite good for sensitive skin and I didn't experience any irritation, but I found the texture kind of watery. For the Winter months, I prefer to use thicker products like body butters.

Home For Christmas is available on LUSH's website and in-stores for $59.95 CDN. LUSH also sells the products listed above individually, or you can check out the rest of LUSH's holiday collection for gift ideas to suit any price range. I've bought other sets for people before and they've always gone over well with the recipients!

November 28, 2011

Wrap (Dress) Me Up

A wrap dress like this one is seriously one of the easiest things to throw on when you can't be bothered to come up with an outfit. Just add some tights, a pair of boots, a few statement accessories and you're good to go!

These days, I've been living in variations of this outfit because those extra minutes of sleep seem to count for so much more in the wintery dark mornings. Surely I'm not the only one who feels this way?

Dress: Wilfred (Aritzia) / Tights: Primark / Boots: Aldo
Watch: Michael Kors (here) / Cuff Bracelet: Soo Ihn Kim (here)

November 20, 2011

GIVEAWAY: Skindinavia No More Shine Makeup Finish {CLOSED}

Congratulations to the winner - OPI Addict of Addicted to OPI (great blog name, btw)!



Quite a number of you expressed interest in the Skindinavia Makeup Finishing Sprays that I reviewed in this recent post, which is why I'm super excited to be hosting this giveaway!

Thanks to Skindinavia, one of my lovely readers will receive my favourite product from their line, the No More Shine Makeup Finish.


Entering is super easy!

Mandatory entry:
♥ Leave a comment on this post telling me what makeup item you absolutely can't live without

Additional entries (please leave a separate comment for each):
Follow my blog on Google Friend Connect (+1 entry)
♥ Follow my blog on BlogLovin' (+1 entry)
♥ Follow me on Twitter (+1 entry)
♥ RT "I entered to win a @Skindinavia makeup finishing spray from @alison_elle at www.alison-elle.com!" on Twitter (+1 entry)

Deadline for entries is NOVEMBER 27. A winner will be selected randomly. Good luck!

November 16, 2011

3D Flowers & Rhinestone Mani from Shi Nail Salon

For the November Vancouver beauty blogger meet-up, a bunch of us headed over to Shi Nail Salon in Richmond for an afternoon of pampering.
Top: H&M / Leggings: H&M / Scarf: Wilfred
Bracelet: Kenneth Jay Lane / Watch: Michael Kors

Instead of opting for a regular manicure, I decided to add some sparkle and go all out with some 3D nail art and rhinestone bling. Apparently I like breaking my own rules about seasonal nail polish colours because the nail design I decided on totally screams "Spring". But who cares? They bring a little tropical delight to the dreary days we've been experiencing.

I didn't realize how much work went into creating 3D nail art. My nail technician carefully hand crafted each petal and individually glued on little rhinestones and baubles to create this look.


Final result: AMAZING! I can't stop staring at my nails. Now if only I could figure out a way to preserve these forever...


I had a ton of fun catching up with my fellow bloggers and was extremely impressed with Shi Nail Salon. Everyone was so professional and attentive, from bringing us drinks and magazines to helping select the perfect nail colours and designs. Not to mention the great pedicure "pods" with built-in massage chairs, overhead heating, and mini laptops to surf the Internet while you soak your feet.

The salon offers a wide range of services from regular manis and pedis to the 3D nail art that I got, as well as paraffin treatments and hand/foot massages. There is also a huge wall of OPI, Sparitual, and Anna Sui nail polish to choose from.


Isn't the decor so cute? Next time I'm in need of a nail art pick-me-up, Shi Nail is definitely at the top of my list.

Address: 115-8033 Saba Road, Richmond, BC (right by the Richmond-Brighouse Canada Line station)
Website: http://www.shinail.com/


P.S. Thanks to Sheila for playing blogger nail party photographer!

November 13, 2011

Leather and Layers

In order to get some Fall wear out of this summer maxi dress, I did some improvising and knotted it up to create a "new" look. Nothing better (read: cheaper) than shopping my own closet, no?

Dress: gift / Cardigan: Zara / Leather Jacket: Mackage / Bag: Longchamp
Scarf: Wilfred / Tights: H&M / Boots: Aldo / Hat: Talula

I'm also one of those people who only wears certain colours on my nails depending on the season (with some exceptions, of course!) so I've been loving a lot of darker shades these days. Here I've got on Nothing But Truffle from the Color Club Fall 2010 Indulgence Collection. It's a rich shimmery brown with a lot of dimension. A great alternative to Essie Little Brown Dress.


P.S. Who else gets excited when Starbucks starts making their holiday drinks again? I've always been a Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha girl but recently branched out and tried the Caramel Brulee Latte. SO GOOD. I think I've found my new favourite drink!

November 10, 2011

Holiday Gift Guide: Calgon Holiday Gift Sets

This year, Calgon has packaged up a series of holiday gift sets that I think will make perfect gifts for those random people on your shopping list that you may not know all that well but still need to find presents for.


I mean, how cute are these gift sets? I especially love the packaging with the bows and the little gift tags!

Back when I was in middle school, we all used Calgon body sprays after gym because there wasn't enough time to shower between classes. I don't think I've actually bought or used a Calgon product since then so given the opportunity, I was more than happy to test out the Spa Essentials Set.


This set includes: Refreshing Body Mist, Relaxing Bath Salts, Moisturizing Shower Gel & Foam Bath, and a mini shower pouf for the extremely reasonable price of $6.99 CDN. It comes in two scents, Morning Glory [pictured] and Hawaiian Ginger.

I'd never smelled the Morning Glory line before but (perhaps unsurprisingly) I find it to be a very fresh almost powdery floral. It's personally not my cup of tea as I prefer more gourmand and fruity scents. However, these make great bath products since they evoke a kind of clean, "just got out of the shower" feeling.

Calgon's holiday gift sets do feature a range of the company's top scents, including the aforementioned Hawaiian Ginger, Moon Petal Musk, and Marshmallow among others. So if you're like me and find Morning Glory too cloying, there is still plenty to choose from. 

The sets are currently available at Shoppers Drug Mart at very affordable price points, ranging from $6.99 to $21.00 (CDN)

November 6, 2011

Skindinavia Makeup Finishing Sprays

Long-time readers of my blog know that one of my biggest makeup/skincare woes is having to deal with constant shine due to my combination skin. I'm constantly on the look out for products that will help with this and I think I've finally found one that works! Skindinavia Makeup Finishing Sprays are in one word: AMAZING.

Thanks to PR, I was able to try out Skindinavia's Original Makeup Finishing Spray and their oily skin formula, No More Shine Makeup Finish. Skindinavia makes a few other varieties that are targeted towards different skin types as well.


I have been testing out both of these products for about a month and have been extremely impressed with the results. I've always had problems with blush fading throughout the day even if I'm wearing face primer and since I've started using these sprays, I've noticed that the colour has remained consistent from morning till night.

To apply, I shake up the bottle then spray on my cheeks, nose, and t-zone before and after applying my makeup. I've still been using Urban Decay Primer Potion for my eye makeup but I believe you can use these sprays to help set that as well. Skindinavia sprays are lightly scented but I haven't found the smell overbearing. They settle into your skin very quickly and dry to a smooth finish without altering your makeup application.

Of the two sprays I received, I don't think it's any surprise that I prefer the No More Shine Makeup Finish. I still have to blot with powder but considerably less than normal and usually only just my nose. However, I've noticed that my skin feels a bit "tighter" for a few seconds after application than when I use the Original Makeup Finishing Spray. I suppose this might be due to the oil control capabilities but I'm not quite sure? I was afraid this meant the spray was clogging my pores but so far, I haven't had any breakouts caused by usage.

To illustrate how my makeup has been holding up with the use of these sprays, I decided to do a time-lapse style photo to illustrate (in these photos, I used the Original Makeup Finishing Spray). The morning photo was taken after my makeup was freshly applied and the evening photo was taken much later in the day, as evidenced by how much flatter my hair is!


I did not reapply any makeup throughout the day except for lipstick after eating and blotting shine with MAC Blot Powder. As you can see, my makeup looks essentially the same.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with makeup finishing sprays, I think they are a great alternative to makeup primers and they save you from having to cart around your foundation and blush for touch-ups.

Skindinivia sprays are available on their website, and they often have coupon codes for free shipping and 20% off. If you're hesitant about buying online, Skindinavia is also apparently behind Urban Decay's line of makeup setting sprays, which are available at Sephora.

November 1, 2011

Rain-couver

When I first moved to Vancouver from Toronto, one of the hardest things to get used to was the constant rain and grey skies. Since then, I've come to realize that these things are what make the city as beautiful as it is. But not gonna lie, sometimes I really do miss playing in dry leaves as opposed to wet ones.

You'll notice my hair is up in these pictures, which is a very rare occurrence. I'm one of those people who prefers wearing my hair down no matter what and I almost never put it in a ponytail or bun. I feel like I look totally different when it's up like this!

Tanktop: TNA / Plaid Shirt: TNA / Sweater: Wilfred Free / Jeans: Habitual
Rain Boots: Hunter / Pashmina: Singapore

October 25, 2011

iPhone Snapshots: Lately (and Not So Lately)

I realized it's been quite awhile since I did an iPhone snapshot post, so some of these are from 1-2 months ago. I really should make the effort to upload these photos onto my computer more frequently!

A casual, last days of summer outfit

So glad Pinkberry is finally here though I'd be happier if it wasn't only in West Vancouver...

A special birthday surprise from my boyfriend delivered to my office

And another surprise later that night (I am obsessed with mango cake)

The best fish & chips in Vancouver, courtesy of Go Fish! at Granville Island

A sweet treat (okay, six sweet treats) from Cupcakes

New nail polish from Deborah Lippmann: Sarah Smile, Glitter in the Air, Across the Universe

Current mani: Deborah Lippmann Glitter in the Air over Essie Blanc

My new monogrammed mug from Anthropologie makes tea-time perfect

October 20, 2011

LUSH Cosmetics 2011 Halloween Collection

What do you do on those days when you're feeling a bit down or need to de-stress? For me, a tried and true pick-me-up is to draw a nice hot bath and toss in some yummy smelling bath products from LUSH Cosmetics. What I love about this company is that all their products are fresh, handmade, and cruelty-free. Plus, they're incredibly innovative and always coming out with brilliant themed holiday items that customers can't get enough of.

Halloween, of course, is no exception! Thanks to the wonderful people at LUSH, I was able to test out a few products from their most recent Halloween/Day of the Dead collection:


GHOST SHOWER GEL ($17.95 CDN for 250ml / $27.95 CDN for 500ml)
Spiritually uplifting & shimmery
Made with rose and dove orchid infusions, this shower gel will leave your skin feeling soft with the lingering fragrance of lilies.

PUMPKIN SOAP ($6.95 CDN)
Spicy Fall soap warms you up when you're chilled to the bone
This limited edition soap is pumpkin-colored and shaped with a lovely and rejuvenating scent of cinnamon that smells good enough to eat (or drink - the scent seriously reminds me of a pumpkin spice latte).

CALAVERA BATH BOMB ($5.95 CDN)
An explosion of vibrant colors to lift your spirits!
Inspired by Calaveras, an iconic image for Mexican Day of the Dead celebrations, this bath bomb contains marigold petals and zesty lime oil.

These three items are available for purchase in stores right now. There are also even more delicious-looking limited edition products which are only being sold in the LUSH Online Store. Check them out before they're all gone!

October 17, 2011

Houndstooth

I ventured out to Fort Langley for the first time recently, which is a little ridiculous considering the fact that it's the birthplace of B.C. and not even an hour's drive away from Vancouver. I really should make the effort to leave the city sometimes!

After wandering around the main street, we happened upon a canoe relay race down by the water - complete with silly tasks like catching pumpkins dropped off a bridge and running across the sand with a wine glass balanced on a paddle. As you can imagine, it was quite entertaining...

Blouse: H&M / Skirt: Forever 21 / Tights: Urban Outfitters
Boots: Rachel Comey / Watch: Michael Kors

October 12, 2011

Chanel Rouge Coco Mademoiselle

In Chanel's ads for its Rouge Coco lipstick, Vanessa Paradis is wearing one of the most gorgeous pink lip colours I've ever seen - the aptly named Mademoiselle 05.

The Rouge Coco line has been out for quite some time now, but it took me a while to finally get around to purchasing this because the price was a bit of a deterrent (~$39 CDN). However, I've been on a bit of a lipstick kick these days so I decided I might as well treat myself.

I'm glad I did because Mademoiselle is everything I hoped it would be. It's a gorgeous pinkish-brown that results in the perfect "my lips but better" neutral on my rather pigmented lips. I wouldn't call this a "wow"-worthy shade per se but rather a great "classic" that can complete any makeup look.

Application is smooth and creamy though you'll want a good lip balm underneath since the formula can be a bit drying. The formula is neither matte nor particularly glossy though there is a bit of shine to it.

There is also a very light scent, which is apparently a special blend of fresh roses, raspberry, and a hint of vanilla. It's not overpowering at all and probably wouldn't bother anyone who's sensitive to smells.


When I was researching Mademoiselle before buying it, I found some random but kind of interesting facts about the Rouge Coco line on Makeup and Beauty Blog. For example, engineers apparently opened and closed hundreds of lipstick tubes to find the perfect click. Who knew so much work went into something like that? Though I must say, the click on this lipstick is rather nice...

October 9, 2011

Black, Blue, and Deborah Lippmann Across The Universe

Here in Canada it's the Thanksgiving Day Long Weekend! I actually used to hate turkey and refused to eat it up until a few years ago (when I was younger I asked my parents for roast chicken instead). Somewhere along the line I changed my mind and I'm glad I did. There's just something about a big Thanksgiving feast complete with turkey, stuffing, and gravy...

By the way, you know that so-called fashion faux pas about mixing black and blue? Yeah, I totally don't agree with it.

Blouse: Olive & Oak / Vest: Central Park West / Pants: 7 For All Mankind (here) / Shoes: Topshop
Bag: Marc By Marc Jacobs (here) / Necklace: House of Harlow 1960 (here) / Watch: Michael Kors (here)


I also recently picked up a bunch of Deborah Lippmann nail polishes, including the infamous Across The Universe. While I am not the biggest fan of glitter polish, Deborah Lippmann's unique use of glitters really drew me in. Across The Universe features blue glitter and teal and green hexagonal glitters suspended in a gorgeous dark blue jelly base.

The important thing to remember when working with glitters like this is to make sure you let each coat dry before applying another to avoid pulling the glitter out of place. I used four coats to reach opacity but I think you can get away with three.


This nail polish is pricey ($22 CDN) but I think it's worth it if you're looking for a very unique colour. For my fellow Canadians, you can find Deborah Lippmann at Murale stores (note: you can also earn/redeem your Shoppers Optimum Points for them!)

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