November 30, 2012

Things I've Learned (& November Must-Reads)

Question of the month: What are 3 of your favourite things you've learned from other blogs/Youtube?

Blogs and Youtube are such great sources for inspiration and new knowledge... in fact, I've learned so many things from both that it was hard to narrow it down to just 3!

Even though a curling iron is now my go-to styling tool, there was once a time when I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. This video by MakeupByTiffanyD was the first one I ever watched.

Tightlining makes a huge difference because it fills in the gaps between your lashes and is a great way to add some subtle definition to your eyes. When I first heard about the process a number of years ago I was super confused so naturally took to Google in search of answers. I can't remember the exact site I ended up on but this Makeup for Life tutorial breaks down the steps really easily.

3. HOW TO MOONWALK (but not very well)
In my first year of undergrad, my friend and I spent countless hours trying to teach ourselves to do all sorts of cool dance moves when we probably should have been studying for our exams. We watched videos on moonwalking, house stepping, and hand waving, and practised in front of the mirror in our rez floor bathroom. Unfortunately, 8 years later I am left with little talent to show for our efforts!

P.S. Don't forget to check out the other girls' answers to this question and their must-reads for the month of November!

November 27, 2012


FUN is  the latest invention from LUSH Cosmetics. A  multi-purpose moldable soap, you can use it to wash your hands and body with, create masses of bubbles to bathe in, or even wash your clothes.

The soap is 100% vegan and made with a gentle softening base of corn flour, talc and glycerine. There are five different types to choose from:

YELLOW FUN ($6.95 for 250g): Creamy vanilla tones and gardenia extract gives this bundle a comforting marzipan aroma.

GREEN FUN ($6.95 for 250g): A citrus burst of tangy lime and lemon essential oils that will make you feel refreshed and focused.

BLUE FUN ($6.95 for 250g): Relax and feel ready for sleep when you wash with this mix of lavender and chamomile blue essential oils. The perfect bedtime bath; also great for irritated skin.

RED FUN ($6.95 for 250g): A fruity combination of orange and mandarin oils that will revitalize the mind and bring a bit of summer sun to the bath.

PINK FUN ($6.95 for 250g): A sweet treat with ice-cream scented tonka absolute and benzoin resinoid, which also has warming qualities to help stimulate circulation.

As you can see, I was sent Yellow FUN and Red FUN (which looks more orange than red to me) to experiment with. Yellow has a very pleasant scent but I preferred Red for its sweet citrus notes.

Aside from its various uses, the other "fun" part about FUN is that you can play with it! The texture is a lot like Play-Doh so it can be molded into all sorts of different shapes. This is supposed to encourage children to have fun during bath time but I can safely say it works for adults too. Though I'm not the best sculptor, here's my rudimentary attempt at a cat face:

The FunD

You may have also noticed the Japanese writing on the packaging. This is because LUSH inventors felt compelled to give something back after the nuclear disaster that occurred in Fukushima, Japan last year left whole residential areas contaminated (and children unable to play outside). So with every purchase of FUN, LUSH will donate 2.5% of total sales to the FunD, giving money to local charities in Japan working towards giving children safe places to play in Fukushima!

You can find FUN in stores or online.

November 22, 2012

The Perfect Sweater

I've been wearing this sweater at least once a week (if not more) since I got it over a month ago. It's basically everything I love in a sweater: leather detailing, interesting shape, and very much my style.

And how fun are my new House of Harlow 1960 Triple Skull Stud Earrings? I tend to wear the same basic mini-hoops all the time because I'm too lazy to take my earrings off every time I shower/sleep and put them back on again. Hmm... that makes me sound kind of lazy... I suppose I probably can spare a few extra seconds and mix up my earring repertoire a bit!

Sweater: Club Monaco / Leggings: H&M (similar) / Booties: Topshop (similar)
Clutch: Rachel Zoe / Earrings: House of Harlow 1960 (here) / Bracelet: Fine Finds

November 18, 2012


By now I'm sure most of you have seen the new Instagram web profiles. Personally, I think it was about time they were introduced. Plus, I love the layouts with that fun changing header! Be sure to check mine out HERE (my username is alison_elle).

And here's a little update on what I've been up to lately...

Pumpkin Cheesecake Doughnut from Jelly Modern Doughnuts

Apparently one of the most expensive beers in the world ($75 for 6 bottles), made by Trappist Monks in Belgium and typically only sold at the monastery

Loved this Club Monaco crown sweater... unfortunately the angora was itchy and shed all over me

New Sam Edelman flats with spikes and studs (here)

Such a great idea; located on Stephen Avenue in downtown Calgary

Sober words of warning

Attending a Stampeders game in the snow... possible reason why there should not be an outdoor football stadium in wintry Alberta

Glad that holiday treats, like this peppermint cake pop, have made it back to Starbucks

5-Pin Bowling & a strike in my first round!

November 14, 2012

Fallen Leaves

I popped back home this past weekend for the briefest of visits. A few days was simply not enough, though I sure was happy to avoid the -24 degrees temperatures and snow-covered streets of Calgary. People in Vancouver have been complaining about how cold it's been getting but it still felt like Fall to me. It's been snowing on and off in Calgary since mid-October so I'll take any non-Winter weather I can get.

On that note, it looks like I may be staying in Calgary till the end of January instead of the end of December as originally planned. I've heard that January/February are the worst months to be in Alberta... someone please tell me my sources are wrong!

Dress: Dil|ema (Aritzia) / Sweater: Talula Babaton (Aritzia) / Belt: Wilfred (Aritzia)
Tights: Primark / Booties: Rachel Comey (here) / Bag: Primark

November 8, 2012

LUSH Cosmetics Emotional Brilliance: Glamorous, Perspective, Motivation, and Eyes Right Mascara

Following up on my previous post about LUSH Cosmetics' makeup line, Emotional Brilliance, here is my long overdue review of the products I received at the pre-launch party. Better late than never, right?

First up are my favourite products from the collection: the Liquid Lips. In particular, I am loving Glamorous, which is a wonderful Barbie pink. It reminds me a bit of the MAC x Nicki Minaj lipstick Pink Friday but less pastel or maybe MAC Candy Yum Yum but less neon. Interestingly, my boyfriend, who is not usually a fan of bright lipstick, has told me numerous times that he loves this. I agree; it is a pretty fun colour.

The Liquid Lips are made with jojoba oil, rose wax, and a candellila wax base to soften dry lips. The texture is quite light, almost like a gloss. I do personally find the formula to be a bit on the slippery side, so it's not super long-wearing. Nonetheless, there is a good variety of shades and as an added bonus: all the liquid lipsticks can double as cream blushes!

My second colour, Perspective, is a lovely dusky rose with a slight golden sheen. It's a very wearable everyday shade that I like a lot.

As you can see, all of these products come in recyclable glass "dropper" bottles. I think they're kind of cute/quirky. Some people have complained about the applicators because they seem a bit flimsy, but my colour reader at LUSH told me it's because they are supposed to be interchangeable so you can remove the doe foot applicator from the Liquid Lips and switch in the brush from the Eyeliner. Not sure if I would actually do this myself though...

Next up is the Liquid Eyeliner. I have Motivation, which is a dark peacock blue/teal. I really like the colour because it's bright and pigmented (this can actually be said about all the colours in the Emotional Brilliance line).

Of the Liquid Eyeliners, only two (Independent and Fantasy) have a no-smudge, stay-put formula. The other eyeliners are made with a formula that allows you to blend to create a softer look if you want. While this means you can also wear them as eyeshadows, if you're wanting a simple liner you have to make sure it dries properly or it will smudge.

As someone who doesn't use liquid liner very often (I prefer pencils), I found this product very easy to use. The shorter handle makes it easier to apply, especially if you are making a winged cat eye. The formula is not waterproof but lasts fine all day with some minor flaking towards the very end of the day.

Lastly, I have the Eyes Right Mascara, which I'm wearing in the Motivation swatch picture above. LUSH claims that it's a "gentle mascara that can be worn by those with even the most sensitive eyes." I thought this was odd because this mascara irritated my eyes a ton. Maybe I'm allergic to wheatgrass, which is the key ingredient in this mascara. Aside from the wheatgrass, Eyes Right contains only one preservative (while most mascaras on the market contain between 4-6).

Eyes Right comes with a very short handle that makes it extremely difficult to apply. Furthermore, the formula is not waterproof and it doesn't hold a curl on my straight Asian lashes. All in all, I find this to be a very basic mascara at best and while I like the idea behind the product it unfortunately was a fail for me.

And that's my Emotional Brilliance round-up! The products are kind of pricey ($22.95 CAD for the Liquid Lips and Liquid Eyeliner, $18.95 CAD for the Eyes Right Mascara). However, I think LUSH is filling a much-needed niche for vegan-friendly makeup and the highly pigmented shades at least make it worth a look.

November 4, 2012

Sweatpants in Public

Not only do I wear these "fashion sweatpants" at home, but I have absolutely no qualms about wearing them in public. And no, not just for a quick grab-and-go grocery store run. I am talking about the full on, day-out-on-the-town, everyone-can-see-me type of wearing in public.

Now, I know you're probably thinking to yourself: "could this girl commit a bigger fashion faux-pas?" The answer is obviously yes... I mean, have you seen those awful Croc/UGG hybrids? Shudder.

Blouse: Club Monaco (similar) / Leather Jacket: Mackage (similar)
Sweatpants: Wilfred Free (Aritzia) / Scarf: Wilfred (Aritzia) / Booties: Report (here)

By the way, I hope you all remembered to change your clocks back! I was super grateful for the extra hour of sleep before my early morning yoga class but at the same time, it's a little upsetting to know that from now on it's going to be dark at like 4 p.m. 

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