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!" 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. 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)

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


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

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