March 30, 2013

The Ticket Kitchen & Bar

Buytopia recently had an awesome coupon deal for The Ticket Kitchen & Bar, which I was lucky enough to preview as a member of their Vancouver Inner Circle.

The Ticket is located in the former Player's Chophouse, right at the entrance to BC Place. It's a great place to get together with friends before a game and even if you're not attending one, the sports enthusiasts among us can still keep up with the scores since, as my boyfriend pointed out, "there's not a bad TV in the place" (the TVs seem to be positioned to give a perfect view no matter where you're seated). Bonus: you might even get to see some local celebrities! On the night we attended, we sat right beside the guys from Hockey Night in Canada.

The menu is kind of upscale pub fare with a bit of class. There are, of course, the "standards" like sweet chili chicken ($12), pizza, and burgers, along with some more unique options like the braised short rib poutine. 

For our mains, my boyfriend and I both opted for steak (typical for us). He chose the filet mignon ($38) and I got the New York strip and fries ($30). As you can see, both dishes are a little on the pricey side but we both thought our steaks were cooked to perfection. Those with big appetites probably wouldn't get full with the filet mignon though... it is, after all, French for "dainty fillet"!

For dessert, my boyfriend chose the blueberry cheesecake while I went with the trio of crème brûlée (if there is crème brûlée on the menu, there is a 99.9% chance that it will be my dessert of choice). The trio consisted of vanilla bean, chocolate, and mocha, and all three were delicious.

All in all, we had a wonderful evening. The service was excellent and the food was good (though I do think it's a bit expensive for an everyday outing). Many thanks to Rob for being so welcoming and Buytopia for the wonderful experience!

Address: 808 Beatty Street, Vancouver, BC

March 27, 2013

Insta-Calgary to Vancouver

Once again, I've let a ton of time pass since my last Instagram update (some of these photos are from Calgary and I've already been home for 2 months if you can believe it). Nonetheless, here are some snapshots of what I've been up to:

Winter snowstorms in Calgary made bearable with my trusty Sorel boots

White Chocolate Mousse Cake from Brûlée for my last day at the Calgary office

This did not taste like banana bread and I am still not a beer drinker

Snowshoeing at Cypress Mountain

Eggel and latka for breakfast at Solly's

Previewing the new Gorilla perfumes at LUSH Cosmetics (Sun is my favourite!)

Follow-up on my workout wishlist: I ended up with these grey/pink Nike Free Run v4 shoes

White chocolate and raspberry cheesecake at Trees

Karaoke = one of my favourite activities because I like pretending I'm a popstar

Brunch at Forage, a local & sustainable restaurant

For more snippets from my everyday life and updates in real time, find me on Instagram at @alison_elle.

March 25, 2013

Let's Get Flashy

One of my friends referred to these as "flashy pants" and while not the flashiest of pants (gold lamé, anyone?), they are pretty flashy for someone like me who's not typically into bright colours or crazy patterns. But for some reason I was inexplicably drawn to them. Perhaps it's because the neon tie adds a pop that isn't too overpowering or because the grid pattern comes in an easy-to-pair black and white combo.

Or... it might be the fact that they're made of the smoothest silk and I just really like feeling like I'm wearing pajamas all day. Apparently, for me, comfort reigns supreme!

Tank: TNA (Aritzia) / Sweater: Central Park for Aritzia / Pants: Wilfred (Aritzia)
Shoes: Prada (here) / Bag: Kate Spade

March 21, 2013

FASHION Magazine Beauty Panel: Day to Night Makeup

This post is my first as a member of FASHION Magazine's Beauty Panel (exciting!) and it just so happens that this week's challenge was a day-to-night one - something I've been meaning to write about for ages but never got around to.

When it comes to day-to-night makeup, my philosophy is that the day look is always the most important. Your day look acts as the "base" for your night makeup so having a strong foundation means you only need to add a few extra products before you're ready for a night on the town. This is especially useful for those of us who need to quickly transition from work to play and don't feel like adding much additional weight to our bags.


Since face and eye primers help makeup stay on longer, I always start with these. Next, I use a foundation that I know won't cake up by the end of the day and carefully select products that can be easily built upon later. For me, this means neutral eye makeup, a basic blush, and a "my lips but better" shade of lipstick.

- Smashbox Photo Finish Primer (here)
- Laura Mercier Mineral Powder Foundation (here)

- Urban Decay Primer Potion (here)
- Lise Watier Ombre Soufflé Suprême in Taupe Fantasia
- Vasanti Silky Eyeshadow in Brasilia
- Stila Eyeshadow in Kitten
- Annabelle Smudge Liner in Muddy
- Lise Watier Dramatique Intense 3D Volume Mascara

- MAC Blush in Melba

- MAC Mineralize Rich Lipstick in Posh Tone


For going out, I tend to prefer the smokey eye/nude lip combo over the statement lip so that is what I decided to go with this time. To amp up my eye makeup, I added some black eyeshadow into my crease, black liner, and false lashes. Next, I applied highlighter for a bit of shimmer and swapped out my daytime lipstick with a pale lipstick & lipgloss combo. As you can see, a few extra products and I'm ready to go!

- MAC Eyeshadow in Carbon
- Urban Decay 24/7 Liner in Zero (here)
- Eylure Naturalites False Lashes

- NARS The Multiple in Copacabana (here)

- MAC Lipstick in Blankety
- NARS Turkish Delight Lipgloss (here)

Other products in my arsenal include a face powder like my favourite MAC Blot Powder or a setting spray like Skindinavia No More Shine Makeup Finish, which can also come in handy to keep my makeup looking fresh all day long.

March 19, 2013

Spring Has Sprung... with West 49!

I was lucky enough to shop West 49's Spring Collection a few weeks ago when they asked me to put together a look for the upcoming season. The outfit I came up with may be a bit premature for Vancouver's current weather, but it includes all the elements of Spring that I'm excited for: cut-out details, graphic prints, and a tiny bit of neon.

Truthfully, I haven't been to West 49 in years (not since my younger wannabe skater days) but I was really impressed to find a number of cute items that easily suit my changed tastes in in fashion/style. If you haven't been to West 49 in a while, I recommend checking out their offerings... it's not the store you might think it is!

Top: Element (c/o West 49) (here) / Skirt: Element (c/o West 49) (here)
Sandals: Roberto Vianni / Bag: ROXY (c/o West 49) (here)

March 17, 2013

LUSH Cynthia Sylvia Stout Shampoo

With today being St. Patrick's Day, I can't think of a better time to review this bottle of Cynthia Sylvia Stout Shampoo which I received from LUSH Cosmetics. I mean, we're talking about beer shampoo here!

This pub-inspired shampoo is made with organic vegan stout beer, cognac, balsamic vinegar, and lemons (the people at LUSH are clearly not strangers to odd combinations). It smells kind of earthy to me and to be honest, I don't like the scent at all. Thankfully it's not as strong once on the hair.

Although this shampoo is formulated for all hair types, LUSH claims it's especially good for those with hair that tends to go frizzy in damp or humid environments. My hair's kind of the opposite (it gets flatter and flatter throughout the day as opposed to getting fluffy) but I have noticed my hair feeling bouncier and softer after use. In fact, I actually think Cynthia makes a good clarifying shampoo for those of us who are prone to oily locks.

Find Cynthia Sylvia Stout online or in stores for $9.95 CAD/100 mL.

March 14, 2013

Shine Bright Like A Diamond

Catchy Rihanna song aside, who can resist a little sparkle? Not this girl! Thankfully, the kind folks over at Anjolee recently gave me the opportunity to pick out and customize one of the Eternity bands on their website, which is also chock-full of earrings, diamond bracelets, and other gorgeous jewelry.

I eventually decided on this one with alternating diamonds and garnet gemstones (though mine is made with CZ since it's a sample). The ring arrived beautifully packaged and I love that it can be worn both alone or stacked with other bands. It also happens to match my Rebecca Minkoff Becky Jacket (now ridiculously on sale) just perfectly - love when that happens!

Blouse: Primark / Blazer: Rebecca Minkoff  (here) / Leggings: H&M (similar)
Shoes: Charlotte Olympia (here) / Sunglasses: Michael Kors (c/o) (different colour)
Bag: Kate Spade (here) / Necklace: House of Harlow 1960 (in white)
Ring: Anjolee (c/o)

March 12, 2013

GIVEAWAY: My 3rd Blogging Anniversary {CLOSED}

While I haven't really "celebrated" this occasion in the past, Sunday actually marked the 3rd anniversary of my blog. When I started this blog I didn't realize how important it would become to me and I am so grateful to all of you for your continued support.

It's also been a while since my last giveaway so I thought now would be a fitting time to put together a little prize package to say "thank you." One reader will receive the following:

EXPRESS "Love Express" Shimmer Body Powder Brush
EXPRESS Lip Glosses in Iced Sugar, Currant Tonic, and Peppermint Mist
Smashbox High Shine Lip Gloss Mini in Buff
Annabelle Smoothie Eyeshadow Crayon in Licoriche
Annabelle Smudge Liner Eyeliner in Ohmygoth!
Illamasqua Medium Pencil in Sophie
Everyday Minerals Loose Eyeshadows in Bedtime Story and Bundled Up
Marcelle Eye Dust in Lux
OPI Nail Polish in Moonraker (Skyfall Collection)
China Glaze Nail Polish in Foxy (Vintage Vixen Collection)
Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen in Light Pink
Weleda Iris Night Cream
LUSH Cosmetics "Feeling Younger" Skin Tint
Everyday Minerals Long Handled Kabuki Brush
Everyday Minerals Flat Top Brush
The Powder Room Makeup Sponges
The Body Shop Powder Puff

Mandatory Entry:
♥ You must be a follower of my blog (GFC or Bloglovin) and leave a comment below with your e-mail address so I can contact you if you win.

Extra Entries (leave a comment for each one):
♥ Follow me on Twitter and tweet "I just entered @alison_elle's 3rd anniversary beauty giveaway feat. Smashbox, Illamasqua, OPI and more! -" (+1 entry)
♥ Like my Facebook page and share the contest post (+1 entry)

Since I will be shipping this out myself, this giveaway is open internationally. Giveaway closes MARCH 31 and a winner will be chosen by a random number generator. Good luck!

Congratulations to the winner - Caitlin of Kitchen Grrrls!

March 11, 2013

A Little Asymmetrical

Lately I've been really into sweaters with interesting details, like this one with the leather sleeves or the one I'm wearing in today's post with its asymmetric hem and loose knit. Paired with some boyfriend jeans (told you I'd be wearing them a ton) and I've got one of my ideal casual looks... perfect for my weekend of Granville Island-ing, fish & chips, and girltalk with a few friends over Thai food.

Hope you all had a lovely and restful weekend - despite losing that precious hour of sleep!

Sweater: Talula (Aritzia) / Boyfriend Jeans: Citizens of Humanity (different wash)
Booties: Rachel Comey (here) / Purse: ASOS (c/o) (here)

March 8, 2013

Charlotte Olympia Embroidered Kitty Flats

For SS13, Charlotte Olympia released a new embroidered cotton version of her iconic Kitty Flats... flats which recently became the newest members of my shoe collection! To be honest, I had really only planned on having a look and maybe a try-on but somehow I ended up walking out with them. Does this ever happen to anyone else?

Impulse buy aside, I do really love all the details on these flats, like the stitching and the gold block heel to add a little lift. Plus, every pair of Charlotte Olympia shoes comes with a Polaroid which you can attach to the outside of the box to archive your collection - if you are lucky enough to own more of her beautiful shoes!

My fellow Canadians can find these at The Room at The Bay (where I got mine). They're also available online at Net-a-Porter and Forward.

March 6, 2013

GLOSSYBOX Canada: February 2013

In honour of GLOSSYBOX Canada's 1-year anniversary, the February 2013 GLOSSYBOX is their way of celebrating  the occasion and saying "thank you" to their subscribers.

Given the recent controversy surrounding GLOSSYBOX Canada (some subscribers received discontinued and expired products), I've been really curious to see whether the company would make any efforts to improve their boxes. It couldn't have been more timely that I recently had the opportunity to do so firsthand thanks to Vervegirl.

This month's GLOSSYBOX comes in a black box with a pink bow on the front and a repeating logo pattern on the inside. Once you remove all the products it makes a great box to store trinkets or other things in.

Now for the contents! 

1. Elite Models Intensity Eye Pencil (Full Size) - 1.1 g/$14.99
I received this in Secret Grey 02, which is a creamy black with subtle glitter. While black liners are a staple in my everyday makeup, some GLOSSIES received a Givenchy Lipgloss instead, which I would have preferred.

2. Essence Quattro Eyeshadow (Full Size) - 5g/$3.99
I haven't tried Essence before but I've seen it at Shoppers Drug Mart and it seems like a very affordable drugstore line. I was happy I received this quad in Chic-ify, which contains some wearable shades, as opposed to the purples and yellows others received in their boxes. While they apply smoothly, however, the are not very pigmented.

3. Bioré Deep Cleansing Pore Strips ULTRA (Full Size) - 6ct/$9.99
How funny, I recently mentioned Bioré strips in this previous post! These particular ones are enriched with tea tree oil and witch hazel.

4. Macadamia Natural Oil Healing Oil Treatment - 30 ml/$13.50
This hair treatment claims to add moisture and nutrients for shine and increased manageability, while providing UV protection. I've heard really good things about this line but unfortunately can't use it as I'm allergic to nuts.

5. Anatomicals You Need a Blooming Shower! (Full Size) - 150 ml/$3.00
This rose and jasmine body cleanser smells great and I think the packaging is really fun.

I also received sachets of Eucerin Hyal-Urea Anti-Wrinkle Day/Night Cream and Crabtree & Evelyn Tarocco Orange Eucalyptus & Sage Ultra-Moisturizing Hand Therapy, as well as a GLOSSYBOX Cupcake Kit which is super cute.

All in all, I thought there was a good variety of products in this GLOSSYBOX and most were full size. But at $21/month, these are among the more pricey subscription beauty boxes and with mostly drugstore brands I can't help but wonder: is it worth it? 

March 4, 2013

Top 10 Pink Nail Polishes (& February Must-Reads)

Question of the month from Kristen: Inspired by Valentine's Day... what are your favourite pink items?

I love the colour pink (it speaks to my girly-girl tendencies), but I don't actually own that many pink items. The exception, of course, being my makeup and nail polish collections!

For this month's post, I thought it might be fun to share my top 10 pink nail polishes. It was hard narrowing it down to just 10, but I think I managed to get a good spectrum of shades in.

Clockwise from top left [links to swatch posts where possible]: Deborah Lippmann Sarah Smile, OPI Bubble Bath, MAC Snob, Lise Watier Power Punch, Illamasqua Loella, Essie Plumberry, China Glaze Strawberry Fields, OPI A-Rose At Dawn... Broke By Noon, OPI Japanese Rose Garden, Essie Pink Parka

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

March 1, 2013

All The Pretty Horses

How cute is this horse-print skirt from eShakti's Spring 2013 Collection? I decided to customize this piece (like I did with my bow collar jacket) by submitting my own measurements and shortening the length to above-knee. I think my tweaks turned out great and am glad to have this fun new addition to my wardrobe. Besides, anything equestrian-themed is a plus in my books!

eShakti is also offering 20% off for all my readers with the code ALISONELLE until March 20. What are you waiting for? Get to customizing!

Chambray Shirt: TNA (Aritzia) / Sweater: Papaya (similar) / Skirt: eShakti (c/o)
Booties: Rachel Comey (here) / Bangles: Lulu Frost for J. Crew

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