December 31, 2013

NYE FOTD: Lise Watier Jardin de Givre

NYE is the perfect excuse for some super glittery makeup that might otherwise seem a bit overdone any other time of the year and thankfully Jardin de Givre by Lise Watier, is here to deliver. When I received this Winter 2013 collection in the mail last month it just screamed "New Years" to me.

The collection contains a range of absolutely gorgeous products encased in frosty white packaging and adorned with sparkling peacock feather designs. The two stars include the Palette Jardin de Givre, which features seven shimmering eyeshadows (including a very sparkly silver glitter) and a silky black cream liner, and the Jardin de Givre Illuminating Powder, which can be dusted on the face and décolleté for a luminous glow.

Here's what I used to create my NYE FOTD (see here for the full range of products in the Jardin de Givre Collection):

Palette Jardin de Givre, Jardin de Givre Illuminating Powder 
Rouge Sublime Lumière Lipstick in Rouge Satin

To complete the look, I decided to put on this jewelled headband from mark. (c/o) that matches my eye makeup perfectly. Ever since my recent haircut, I've been wearing my hair in its natural straight state more often so I opted for that as opposed to my typical curls. To get a sleeker look, I spritz my hair with OSiS+ Blow & Go Smooth ($21 CAD) which is similar to the Blow & Go Thick used in this post except it calms the frizzies rather than adding volume.

This look was also my most recent FASHION Magazine Beauty Panel submission. Be sure to check out that post for the full list of products I used. Oh, and...


December 27, 2013

Hair Styling with Mint Hair Lounge and OSiS+

A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to be treated to a hairstyling session at Mint Hair Lounge in Port Moody thanks to Schwarzkopf Professional (the salon is linked with the brand and carries their full line of products). Upon entering the establishment and being introduced to my stylist Matthew, I quickly realized that this was unlike any other salon I've ever been to. It felt very hip, and everyone was so friendly and joking around with each other - while still being professional, of course! 

After washing my hair, Matthew started by spraying on OSiS+ Blow & Go Thick ($21 CAD). This product is a blowdry spray that helps hair dry faster while adding body. To make sure it doesn't clump up, the trick is to spray it in a downwards direction then scrunch at the roots. Next, Matthew blowdried my hair with a round brush, concentrating on the roots to add lift and body.

We could have left my hair like that (it was already looking quite voluminous), but we decided to add some bouncy waves. For this, Matthew showed me his patented way of getting effortless curls. First, he sectioned my hair into four pigtails around my head and then curled smaller sections of each pigtail with a flat iron. Then, he removed the elastics and had me turn my head upside down so he could comb through the curls with his fingers. It looked a bit funny but it worked! Lastly, we finished off with some OSiS+ Magic Finish Anti-Frizz Shine Serum and OSiS+ Session Extreme Hold Hairspray to keep my hair in place.

You may actually recognize the finished hairstyle from my most recent outfit post. I loved how effortless and bouncy the waves ended up looking and feeling. 

Port Moody is a bit of a ways from Vancouver but if you're in the area, Mint Hair Lounge is definitely a place I recommend checking out. It has a great unpretentious vibe and Matthew was a ton of fun to talk to. In fact, I'd say the salon is worth the drive.

Location: 2337 Clarke Street, Port Moody, BC

P.S. Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! I certainly did :)

December 23, 2013

Christmas Nails: AVON Holiday Nail Art Design Strips

With Christmas now literally days away, I thought it only appropriate to pretty up my nails with these fun & festive AVON Holiday Nail Art Design Strips.

Retailing at $12 CAD for 18 strips, there are three designs to choose from: Candy Cane, Winter Wonderland, and Holiday Cheer. I decided to use just the first two for this mani since I liked the colour combination (though I realized it's also a little American flag-esque). Plus, the Christmas trees are too long for my short nails so I'd have had to trim them down and I was feeling a bit lazy.

Application was pretty similar to my experience with the Halloween nail art design strips but I noticed it was harder to get clean edges when filing on the snowflake design than the candy cane stripes. Even though I tried my best to be careful, they still look a bit jagged. However, I'm probably the only one bothered by it as no one else appears to have noticed.

Hope you all have a lovely Christmas (if you celebrate), and happy holidays!

December 18, 2013

Perfectly Plaid

In a recent feature on the ASC blog's "Be Our Guest" column, I mentioned that I was on the hunt for the perfect pair of slim-fit, cropped plaid pants. Well, I did end up finding some and they've been on heavy rotation ever since their purchase last month. Becoming known as "the girl with the plaid pants" is okay, right? Because I'm kind of obsessed.

Turtleneck: Club Monaco (in camel or similar) / Faux Fur Vest: H&M (similar)
Pants: Joe Fresh (here or similar) / Booties: Report (similar)
Bag: Longchamp / Bracelet: mark. (c/o) (here)

December 15, 2013

GIVEAWAY: Win a $50 gift certificate to Park Royal! {CLOSED}

Those of you who have passed through West Vancouver recently have probably noticed some significant changes being made to its iconic shopping centre, Park Royal. Instead of running around the city, savvy shoppers can now escape to Park Royal’s new 150,000 square-foot outdoor expansion, which includes Anthropologie, J. Crew, LOFT, LUSH, Sephora, and Zara, as well as an expanded parkade and two Squamish Nation public art pieces. Other notable retailers will also be opening in early 2014, including Artizia’s new flagship location, Bath & Body Works, Browns, Town Shoes and Urban Outfitters. Be sure to check out Park Royal's Twitter and Facebook for more info.

To celebrate the expansion, I'm also excited to be able to offer one lucky reader a $50 gift certificate to Park Royal so they can check out the changes for themselves, plus a bottle of Rose Gold perfume from Zara!

♥ Follow me on Twitter and tweet the following: "Enter to win a $50 gift certificate from @shopParkRoyal and @alison_elle - #EscapetoParkRoyal"

Giveaway ends December 19 at 12 p.m. Pacific Time. Open only to Vancouver-area residents as you must be able to visit Park Royal Shopping Centre - sorry!


December 13, 2013

Holiday Gift Guide: Yves Rocher Cocoa Collection Sparkling Shower Gel

The Cocoa Collection (or "Collection Cacao" in French) from Yves Rocher is a new limited edition holiday line featuring a range of bath & body products in three delicious cocoa-based scents. I was sent the line's Sparkling Shower Gels to try out and I've got to say, I really like them. They smell amazing and are great quality for the price ($6 CAD). Plus, the ornament shapes are so cute.

My favourite of the three scents is Cocoa & Raspberry but Cocoa & Orange comes in a close second. It smells just like a Terry's Chocolate Orange. Cocoa & Pistachio will probably appeal to those who like more nutty scents though personally, I prefer the fruity ones. Also, full disclosure: being a person with severe nut allergies, I'm always paranoid of using products with nuts in the title (though there appear to be no actual nuts or nut oils in this shower gel's ingredients).

Wouldn't these products would make great stocking stuffers or gifts for those on your shopping lists? You know... if you're like me and haven't completed all your Christmas shopping yet!

December 11, 2013

O Christmas Tree (West 49 Holiday 2013)

This weekend I did something I've never done before: I got a real Christmas tree! Previously I've only ever had fake ones but there really is something special about finding that one perfect tree and the fresh, pine smell that fills your home with festive cheer.

My trip to the tree lot also turned out to be the perfect opportunity to wear some new winter-weather clothing from West 49 Holiday 2013. I've previously featured some of their Spring pieces but their holiday looks are also right up my alley. These boots, for example, feature a super soft & fuzzy sherpa lining and are soooo warm. Be sure to check out the West 49 Girls Holiday Lookbook for some great outfit ideas and enter for a chance to win a $500 giftcard while you're at it!

Sweater: Billabong (c/o West 49) (also here) / Plaid Shirt: TNA (Aritzia)
Jeans: Old Navy (c/o) (here) / Boots: ROXY (c/o West 49) (in black)
Bag: Mulberry (here) / Bobble Hat: ASOS (in grey and black)

December 9, 2013

New Hair thanks to Salon Haze!

I've been in desperate need of a haircut so Salon Haze's invitation to stop by and experience their services came at the perfect time. Located in the heart of Kits, it's easily accessible (bonus points since it's in my neighbourhood!) with lots of street parking in the area.

Inside, the salon space is super bright with a clean, fairly minimalist decor. It feels very contemporary but is comfy and relaxing at the same time. 

After being offered a beverage and having my hair washed, I was lucky enough to have my hair cut by Tim Kuo, one of Salon Haze's co-owners who was recently crowned BC Hairstylist of the Year 2013. Tim's level of skill and expertise was immediately obvious to me as he analyzed my hair and offered suggestions on how to tackle my baby hairs and amp up the volume. We decided to snip off about 3 inches and I was happy to leave my hair in Tim's capable hands as he worked his magic. In the end, I was left with a new shorter style that I absolutely love.

Tim also took the time to go over some recommended styling products, showing me how to use them in my own hair. The salon conveniently stocks a range of product lines, including MoroccanOil and American Crew, as well as professional hairstyling tools, and I found it particularly helpful to get a hands-on demonstration as correct/appropriate usage can sometimes be elusive.

Finding a good hairstylist who understands your hair and delivers consistently can be an arduous process. At least in my case, I've been bouncing from stylist to stylist for a while... but after meeting Tim I think my search is finally over. The stylists at Salon Haze clearly know what they're doing (I saw some great haircuts on other customers as I was getting my own hair done). If you're looking to get your hair cut, coloured, or styled, Salon Haze is definitely the place to go... trust me, you will leave looking and feeling fabulous!

Location: 2996 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC

December 5, 2013

Holiday Party FOTD: Revlon Evening Opulence Collection

This week, the FASHION Magazine Beauty Panel was challenged to create a holiday party look, which I took as the perfect opportunity to use some new holiday products recently sent to me by Revlon. The Evening Opulence Collection by Gucci Westman, Revlon's Global Artistic Advisor, brings together a stunning palette of sparkly, rich jewel tones that just screams glitz & glamour. Be sure to check out my submission on here!

Nail Enamels in Elusive and Rich / PhotoReady Primer, Shadow + Sparkle Eye Palette in Muse
ColorBurst Lipgloss in Adorned

As a huge fan of purple smokey eye looks, it should come as no surprise that my favourite item from the Evening Opulence Collection is the PhotoReady Primer, Shadow + Sparkle Eye Palette ($12.95 CAD) in Muse. These palettes are interesting because the bottom left shade (in this palette, a sparkly light greenish-blue) is supposed to act as a primer while the bottom right shade (in this palette, a deep green) is supposed to be a sparkle top coat. The purples applied great but I actually also found the deep green to be pigmented enough to act as eyeshadow on its own, and even used it as a liner for my bottom lashes.

If you've never tried a ColorBurst Lipgloss ($10.50 CAD) before, you absolutely must. These glosses are super pigmented with apparently 5x more shine than patent leather. Adorned is a juicy watermelon pink with tiny micro-shimmers that really plumps the lips. So pretty! If you're more of a plum lover, look for Embellished, which is the second lipgloss available this holiday season.

Lastly, there are four new Nail Enamels ($5.95 CAD each), of which I have two. Rich is an interesting silvery-olive green foil that I quite like. The formula is thin but applies evenly so I only needed two coats to reach opacity. Elusive looked most interesting in the bottle... perhaps like a cheaper dupe for a Deborah Lippmann polish. However, I was surprised to find that it dried matte! Weird. I feel like the matte finish really takes away from the dimension this polish could have so I'll probably wear it with a shiny topcoat instead. Nonetheless, kudos to Revlon for coming up with something different.

The Evening Opulence Collection by Gucci Westman for Revlon Holiday 2013 is now available at drugstores and mass retailers.

December 1, 2013

Holiday Gift Guide: A LUSH Christmas

LUSH Cosmetics is known for their amazing Christmas gift sets (which I've actually blogged about before), but they also have many other seasonal products that would make excellent presents or stocking stuffers for friends and family... or, of course, a treat for yourself! So with Christmas now less than a month away, I thought I'd share a few gift ideas from my friends at LUSH:

The Christmas Penguin ($7.45 CAD) was inspired by the smallest penguins in the world, Little Blue Penguins, which hail from Philip Island in Australia. Scented with orange flower absolute and Sicilian mandarin oil, this adorable bubble bar creates piles of white, glacier-like bubbles when crumbled under running water.

Bombardino ($5.25 CAD), a bath bomb, shares its name with a drink enjoyed in the Italian Alps and smells of rich lemon cheesecake. Cocoa butter softens the skin while Sicilian lemon oil and Fair Trade vanilla absolute give your bath a delicious fragrance. I accidentally photographed this upside down but I think "he" looks cute either way!

Fragranced with yummy Brazilian orange oil as a nod to "his" inspiration, Sandy Santa ($9.95 CAD) is the spitting image of a sand sculpture once found on Copacabana Beach. This product is an interesting body buffer/butter hybrid that is meant to be used in the shower on wet skin. The sand and sugar buff away rough winter skin while coconut oil, murumuru butter, and organic shea butter work their moisturizing magic.

I was first introduced to Rose Jam Shower Gel ($10.95 CAD for 100 mL) at the #blogvancity event back in September where all of us attendees positively swooned over its luxurious scent. Brightening goji berry juice and Sicilian lemon give skin a boost while argan oil, rose oil, and rose absolute leave it soft and beautifully fragranced. Perfect for anyone who loves roses!

A fun treat for lip product junkies, Santa Baby Lip Tint ($8.95 CAD) is loaded with Fair Trade butters and carrot oil. I don't find it super moisturizing but it is incredibly pigmented and will give the perfect red pout this holiday season.

Be sure to check out the rest of LUSH's Christmas offerings in-store or online.

November 27, 2013

OSiS+ Thrill

Have you been following along with my OSiS+ reviews and tutorials? If not, be sure to check out my other posts here! Today, I'm sharing my thoughts on OSiS+ Thrill ($23.50 CAD), a strong control fibre gum that can be used to add style and texture on short to medium hair.

Way back in the day when I had super short hair that I spiked up in the back (this was when I was "punk rawk" obviously!), Thrill would have been the perfect product for me. The fibres are fun to work between your fingers and you can easily define sections of hair for a piece-y look, adding shine without looking greasy. Plus it smells so good.

Unfortunately my hair is much too long for products like this now so I've only been able to use it for taming flyaways. However, if you have shorter hair or a more edgy haircut, I highly recommend it. It's also great for guys - I've passed my tin along to my boyfriend who is just loving it.

November 25, 2013

Be BFFs with Ann Taylor and LOFT!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of ANN INC. CAREERS. All opinions are 100% mine.

ANN INC. is represented by two of the leading specialty retail fashion brands in North America: Ann Taylor and LOFT, both of which carry tons of stylish work wear that I am constantly coveting. In fact, when I was in Toronto a few weeks ago, I made a point to stop by Ann Taylor since we don't have any stores in Vancouver (yet). We did just get a LOFT though, so fingers crossed that one opens up here soon!

Now, thanks to the ANN INC. BFF mobile app, you can also gain some insight into the fashion company and have 24/7 access to help you put your "BEST FOOT FORWARD"!

 photo AnnInc_BFF_Banner_300x2501_zps9896a4d1.jpg

I recently downloaded the BFF app onto my iPhone and have been having lots of fun playing with its many different features. From daily inspirational mantras and quotes from fashion icons to up-to-the-minute fashion news, this app has tons to offer. Plus, for those of you interested in pursuing a fashion career, there is plenty of career advice from fashion leaders in ANN INC. as well as job opportunities at the company.

My favourite feature, however, is the Trends Gallery, which allows you to snap pictures of your outfits to share with the community. If you're on Instagram, use the the tag #bfftrends to be featured on the app!

The BFF app can be downloaded from iTunes or Google Play.

Visit Sponsor's Site

November 21, 2013

GIVEAWAY: IT by Alexa Chung {CLOSED}

Media-proclaimed "it" girl Alexa Chung released her aptly named first book, IT, last month giving fashion fans some long-awaited insight into her private life.

Equal parts style guide, memoir, and scrapbook, IT chronicles Alexa's sources of inspiration and outlines her route to self-discovery through both fashion and music. Told through a series of short written excerpts, this pretty pink hardcover book combines her personal anecdotes, drawings, and photographs in an incredibly accessible, effortless voice. Basically, the book is every bit as cool as Alexa herself.

IT has been a fantastic addition to my coffee table book collection and thanks to Penguin, I have one to give away to a reader!

HOW TO ENTER (mandatory entry):
♥ Follow my blog on Bloglovin and leave a comment below saying you've done so with your e-mail address so I can contact you if you win.

♥ Follow me on Twitter and tweet "I just entered to win a copy of IT by Alexa Chung from @alison_elle -" and leave a comment below saying you've done so.

Giveaway ends November 30. Open to US and Canada only - sorry!

Congratulations to the winner - Erika of Pink and Green Mom!

November 19, 2013

Heart You

I had an early start to the holiday party season this year, with my first occurring this past weekend. Although it felt a bit strange to be celebrating in November, I can't say I have any complaints. Delicious food and free-flowing drinks? I'm so there. Plus, the event also provided an excellent opportunity to wear my new Heart You Dress by Three Floor. I have been coveting this UK brand's dresses for a while now and am super happy with my purchase. The nude mesh, lace, and cut-outs make for such unique details... maybe it's time to start collecting dresses!

Dress: Three Floor (here and here) / Tights: H&M / Booties: Report (similar)
Bag: Chanel / Bracelet: Kate Spade New York (similar)

November 15, 2013

"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" Nail Art Tutorial

"The Hunger Games: Catching Fireis coming out next Friday and I could not be more excited (I love Jennifer Lawrence). I hear there are going to be some really cool outfits in the movie, and because beauty and aesthetics are such a huge part of life in The Capitol, I also thought it would be fun to put together this flaming nail art tutorial inspired by The Hunger Games.

To recreate this look, there are just 4 simple steps:

1. First, paint on a shimmery coal nail polish as your base colour. I used MAC Cosmetics Military from their Holiday 2013 Divine Night Collection.

2. Next, paint on a gold polish (I used mark. Trend Mini Nail Lacquer in Gleam Scene) partway down the nail, creating flicks to look like flames.

3. Add a red polish (I used mark. Trend Mini Nail Lacquer in Snowberry) on top of the gold flames, being careful to leave some peeking through.

4. Last, I decided to top my nails with Essie As Gold As It Gets, which is a gold top coat. This step is optional but adds a bit of dimension and sparkle.

In honour of the movie's upcoming release, I also have a super exciting giveaway for any Hunger Games fans in the Vancouver-area. One lucky reader will win:

  • Two advanced screening tickets to "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" on November 20, 2013 playing at 7 p.m. in the Scotiabank Theatre 
  • A Hunger Games Prize Pack (including the book trilogy, DVD, and lots of other swag)


November 13, 2013

Cold Weather Intolerance

Despite these misleading pictures (which were taken in Yaletown), I am actually in my hometown of Toronto right now. I flew in for my friends' wedding and have been having a blast catching up with my friends and family. I've also come to realize, however, that while I am an east coast girl at heart, my west coast side has definitely taken over... especially when it comes to cold weather tolerance! See this outfit? Totally wouldn't be able to pull this off here without a coat. My new sweater from SheLikes would have to be hidden under layers of clothing and you wouldn't be able to see my favorite feature - the faux leather sleeves. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love leather.

Sweater: SheLikes (c/o) / Pants: Paige (similar) / Bag: Marc By Marc Jacobs (here)
Shoes: Sam Edelman (here) / Hat: Club Monaco (here) / Scarf: Wilfred (Aritzia)

November 7, 2013

Shopaholic Tag (& October Must-Reads)

Question of the month: Lots of questions because it's the SHOPAHOLIC TAG!!!

1. Would you consider yourself a shopaholic?
Yes, definitely!

2. How would you classify your style? 
"Downtown chic." I've actually blogged about this before and I'd say it's still the same.

3. What store can you not leave without buying at least one thing? 

4. Where do you find the best deals? 
Joe Fresh and Old Navy are really inexpensive and often have cute pieces.

5. What designer are you willing to splurge for? 
I'll splurge for most designers if there's a piece I really love (and can afford!). However, you can't go wrong with Chanel.

6. Do you have a "go to" shopping outfit? 
Leggings and a tanktop (with  layers on top). If there's a long line for the fitting room I usually just try clothes on over them.

7. What is your guilty pleasure (aside from make up)? 
Does that mean nail polish doesn't count? If so, then tea. I am constantly buying new teas to try.

8. What is one staple clothing piece you cannot live without?
A nice wool coat.

9. What is a trend you hope never goes out of style? 

10. What trend did you love that passed way too quickly?
I don't follow a lot of trends though I was obsessed with bell-bottoms when they were popular in the late 90s. I would raid my grandmother's basement for pairs that my mom and aunts used to wear when they were young.

11. Who is your fashion icon? 
I always say Rachel Bilson or Olivia Palermo but lately I have been loving a lot of Jessica Alba's looks as well.

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