April 26, 2012

Instagram Lately (or, Eating My Way Around Vancouver)

First of all, I just wanted to say how thrilled I am to be featured as Lulu Frost's Look of the Week! I wear my Lulu Frost for J. Crew bangles a lot and love all of Lisa Salzer's gorgeous jewelry designs. Check out the feature HERE.

And now for another instalment of iPhone snapshots, which once again seem to indicate that all I really do is eat... and eat... and eat...

Chilling out in the VIP lounge at FIVESIXTY

I hardly go clubbing anymore since the crowds are always so young but I do love dancing

New iPad = LOVE

Brunch at The Templeton, a lovely 50's-style diner

Finally tried Mom's Grilled Cheese Truck - definitely worth it!

Much-needed comfort food at Burgoo

Sunday afternoon tea at Shaktea on Main Street

Phnom Penh is one of my absolute favourite restaurants in Vancouver... their chicken wings are to die for!

Cheers to the weekend!

For more snippets from my daily life, feel free to follow my Instagram (my username is alison_elle).

April 23, 2012

Weekends for the Weary

I've been battling some sort of cold/flu for the past week or so, so my weekend was rather uneventful as rest became my #1 priority. I did, however, manage to make it out to the 5th Annual Nifty For Fifty Sale where local designers were showcasing their wares and everything was under $50! Managed to pick up a cute pair of earrings for one of my besties.

You may have also noticed that I've been living in my maxi dresses and skirts lately. It's funny to think that I only donned my first maxi dress less than year ago... They are seriously as comfy as pajamas (an absolute must when one is sick) but let me feel like I at least put more effort into my outfit.

Blouse: Primark / Cardigan: Propaganda (Plenty) / Leather Jacket: Mackage / Belt: H&M
Skirt: Club Monaco (here) / Flats: Bloch / Bag: Marc By Marc Jacobs (here)

P.S. Remember the "My Fat Little Rule Book" pre-launch party I attended a few weeks ago? Well, Vancouver author Jacquie Somerville's first book has finally been released!! Read Jacquie's post about it here and purchase the e-book on Amazon here.

April 18, 2012

Weleda One-Step Cleanser & Toner

Weleda is one of those companies that I've heard many great things about but just hadn't gotten around to trying until very recently. This European company, founded in 1921, has a rich history of creating all-natural skincare products that focus on healing, wellness, and balance. In fact, you may have even heard about their infamous Skin Food moisturizer (if you haven't, it's amazing).

Last month, Weleda released its new One-Step Cleanser & Toner, which I was fortunate enough to be sent for review. This new product aims to simplify your daily routine by combining the deep cleansing action of natural olive oil soap with the toning properties of witch hazel extract.

The One-Step Cleanser & Toner comes packaged in a gorgeous blue glass bottle that I was initially afraid of breaking. However, I was relieved to find that the bottle shape makes it easy to hold even with wet hands. Once you remove the cap, the tapered plastic spout ensures less waste, letting out only a few drops at a time. 

The actual product is of milky consistency that you apply and then rinse off. This cleanser & toner is best suited for normal to combination skin (which I have) and leaves my face feeling refreshed after use. I've been using it for my morning face washes as I don't find it strong enough to remove makeup at the end of the day. If you don't wear much makeup, you could probably use this both morning and night with no problems. 

Weleda describes the scent as "fresh citrus" derived from pure essential oils. I personally think it smells more like witch hazel, which some may not like but is not necessarily unpleasant. Personally, it actually helps wake me up in the mornings!

Conclusion: it's a great product if you're looking for a gentle cleanser made with natural ingredients. In Canada, a 100 mL bottle of Weleda's One-Step Cleanser & Toner retails for $24 and can be found at www.weleda.ca, Whole Foods Market, natural independent health food stores, Planet Organic Market, Nature's Fare, Noah's Natural Foods, and Rexall Pharma Plus stores. 

April 12, 2012

Tutorial: Gradient Nails (No Sponges Required)

I've posted my gradient nails on this blog before (see them in pink and green) and have been meaning to do this tutorial for ages. I had initially wanted to make a video but alas, I have no idea how to film/edit... so I hope this pictorial will help explain things!

My version of the gradient nail look doesn't require sponges like many other tutorials; however, you will probably need some patience at the beginning as there are lots of polishes and multiple layers involved. Here is the final look:

To start off, you will need 4 nail polishes (or 5-6 if you count base coat and top coat). Your base colour must be semi-sheer and light (I am using OPI Tijuana Dance?). Your 2 next colours must be in the same colour family going from a light colour to a darker one (they make up the gradient). For this tutorial, I decided to go with blue. My middle gradient colour is Deborah Lippmann Across The Universe and my tip colour is Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Navy Baby. Lastly, you will need a glitter top coat to help conceal the harsh lines between each layer of polish. Here I am using Revlon Galaxy Top Coat.

To explain this tutorial, I will be referring to the names of the polishes I used to avoid confusion. Just substitute whatever polish colours you are using accordingly.

1. Paint on a base layer of Tijuana Dance? and let dry.
2. Paint a layer of Across The Universe from the tip of your nails to 3/4 of the way down and let dry.
3. Layer Tijuana Dance? on top of Across the Universe to conceal the harsh lines and let dry.

4. Paint the tips of your nails with Navy Baby and let dry.
5. Layer Tijuana Dance? over Navy Baby to conceal the harsh lines and let dry.
6. Layer the entire nail with Galaxy Top Coat to conceal the harsh lines between each gradient colour.

7. Brush on top coat, and you're done!

NOTE: Once you've completed all the steps, you can play around a bit with your polish layers to get the right look. For this mani, I actually ended up layering a bit more of Across The Universe on top to blend in the colours.

I know there are a lot of steps but once you get the hang of it, I swear it's really easy to do. Let me know if you try it out for yourself!

April 10, 2012

Light Denim Lovin'

Closet confession time: despite being a former obsessive premium denim collector, I have never owned a denim jacket in my life. Not even in the 90s when denim jackets were de rigeur. This light denim shirt is, of course, not a jacket, but I'm going to go out on a limb and call it "jacket-like." I have a feeling I'll be living in it this Spring/Summer... it seriously goes with everything!

Denim Shirt: TNA (Aritzia) (similar) / Maxi Dress: gift (similar) / Belt: H&M / Wedges: Nine West

April 6, 2012

LUSH Cosmetics 2012 Easter Collection

I'm sure I'm not the only one excited that it's finally Easter weekend given the fact that we haven't had a long weekend since New Years. Unfortunately I don't have any getaways planned, but you can bet there will be lots of rest & relaxation.

To that end, I'm especially looking forward to indulging in some bath time fun with some products from the LUSH Cosmetics Easter Collection that I was recently sent to try out.

Pictured above are the Carrot Top Reusable Bubble Bar and the Fluffy Egg Bath Bomb... so cute and perfect for Easter, right? LUSH never fails to impress me with their amazing holiday collections!

The Carrot Top Reusable Bubble Bar is made with nutritious carrot oil, which is rich in vitamins and is an extraordinary skin soother and rejuvenator. The fragrance is pleasant and fruity with oils like buchu, lemon and bergamot. To use, you just have to hold on to the "leafy" greens and swish it around the tub to create masses of skin softening bubbles. Then, just leave it on the side of the tub to dry and re-use another time. I love the fact that this is reusable since you get more "bang" for your buck (retail price is $7.95 CAD).

As a bath bomb fanatic, I was especially pleased with the Fluffy Egg Bath Bomb, which seriously smells like candy (without all the calories!). A bath with this is seriously like bathing in a mass of marshmallow and jelly bean scented water. Yummy! I also love the bright pink colour and candy flower decorations. Retails for only $6.95 CAD.

I was also sent the Immaculate Eggception (not pictured), which is Lush's newest Easter innovation. It's a giant fizzy egg that you crack open to reveal a surprise bath bomb inside. There are two colours to choose from, pink and yellow, and each comes with either a baby chick or bunny bath bomb.  Retail price is $12.95 CAD which I'd say is worth it because the egg is quite large and you can break it into pieces for multiple baths.

These products are limited edition, so my best advice is to get your hands on them while you can.


April 3, 2012


I am so obsessed with Club Monaco these days (although "these days" is a total understatement; I am obsessed with Club Monaco "always and forever" is probably more accurate). Any time I'm in one of their stores, I find myself exclaiming over how amazing everything is and how perfect all the mannequins' outfits are. Surely I'm not the only one who does this...

At the moment, I am especially obsessed with this new motorcycle vest that you may have noticed in my #VanBloggerSale Re-cap post. It is seriously one of the most versatile pieces ever and can be paired with just about anything! And how do I feel about this grey sweater maxi tube skirt, also from Club Monaco? Yeah, you guessed it. Obsessed.

Top: Wilfred Free (Aritzia) / Vest: Club Monaco / Skirt: Club Monaco (here)
Booties: Rachel Comey (similar) / Bangle: Marc By Marc Jacobs (similar)

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