July 28, 2013

DKNY Be Delicious Heart London

DKNY Be Delicious Heart London is part of a limited edition collection called DKNY Be Delicious Hearts The World, which was released last summer and builds on DKNY's best-selling Be Delicious perfume. The other three fragrances in the collection were inspired by the cities of New York, Paris, and Rio de Janeiro.

I've always liked the original Be Delicious scent but when I received this bottle to try out I was surprised to find that it actually does bring back many wonderful memories of London (see photos from my vacation there a few years ago).

Inspired by the spirit of the city, as well as the English countryside, the "pink bottle" features landmarks such as the River Thames, Trafalgar Square, and Cotswolds. The scent inside is light, fresh, and very floral.

Top notes: green apple, hyacinth
Middle notes: black currant bud, honeysuckle, English roses
Base notes: vetiver, amber

While the rose notes are pleasant and not overly cloying, I must admit that this isn't a perfume I would wear everyday as I'm not a huge fan of florals. However, I definitely plan on spritzing this on when the mood strikes - especially when I'm feeling a little nostalgic.

July 23, 2013

Superdry Brighton Tote Bag

Does this Superdry Brighton Tote Bag look familiar? Hint: it may or may not have appeared on a recent wishlist... And now thanks to the kind folks at Surfdome it's actually mine!

Fabricated with durable canvas and a branded toggle closure, this tote bag makes an excellent beach bag. In fact, I put it to the test this past weekend during an epic beach day with a few of my friends and it turned out to be the perfect accessory. I was able to fit in all of my beach necessities (with room to spare) and loved how the nautical-inspired colourway complemented what I was wearing that day. Stylish and practical = the perfect combination! Plus, since I have many more beach days ahead, this bag will definitely be getting a ton of use this summer.

To find this great Superdry tote from Surfdome, go here to browse through their current selection. Surfdome also carries a ton of other lifestyle brands for men, women, and children so there really is something for everyone in their online store.

July 19, 2013

Real Techniques Your Eyes/Enhanced Starter Set

Real Techniques makeup brushes, designed by Samantha Chapman of pixiwoo fame, have been getting rave reviews ever since they were first released but sadly weren't available in Canada for the longest time. Thankfully that's no longer the case.

I recently got the chance to test out the Your Eyes/Enhanced Starter Set ($19.99 CAD), one of three brush sets in the Real Techniques line (there are a number of individual brushes as well). The Starter Set is intended to provide all the tools needed to create the ultimate eye look.

Included with all the brush sets is a panoramic case which you can fold in half and toggle to create a stand. I haven't been using the case because I store my makeup brushes a different way but I can see it coming in handy for protection if you're travelling or on-the-go. The elastic holds the brushes very tightly in place... perhaps a little too tightly.

Now for my thoughts on the brushes!

The Base Shadow Brush is a very full round brush that is good for packing on eyeshadow to achieve a smooth foundation of colour. This is especially so if you're using a product that's less pigmented. However, I personally prefer to use a flat paddle-shaped brush to apply my base eyeshadow so don't use it as much as some of the other brushes in this set.

The Deluxe Crease Brush is designed for contouring, so you can use it to apply darker crease colours and for blending. It also works well for applying concealer to the undereye area or around the nose.

The Accent Brush is designed for precision detailing. I like using it for smudging or applying shadow close to my bottom lashes.

The Pixel-Point Eyeliner Brush, used for applying gel or cream liners, is my least favourite brush in this set. It works if you like thicker liner or cat eye looks but I find the brush too thick to achieve a super fine line.

The Brow Brush works great for shaping and defining eyebrows, or even as an angled eyeliner brush. In fact, if I had to choose a brush in this set to apply eyeliner with it would actually be this one over the Pixel-Point Eyeliner Brush.

All Real Techniques brushes are made with Taklon, a synthetic material which is 100% cruelty-free. They are super soft and I haven't had any problems with shedding, which I am constantly battling with some of my more expensive MAC brushes. The quality is very impressive, especially for the price, and I'm glad to finally understand why everyone has been loving this line. Definitely recommended to anyone looking for affordable and well-made brushes!

Fellow Canadians can find Real Techniques at Walmart (only the sets) or online through their Canadian distributor (including the individual brushes). I've also heard they can be found at select London Drugs.

July 16, 2013

Tuxedo Stripe

Okay, I admit it... I'm having a bit of a moment when it comes to pants with side-stripes right now (recent evidence here). I particularly adore this pair's take on the classic tuxedo pant. Cropped and skinny? Yes, please!

Pocket Tank: Wilfred (Aritzia) (similar) / Pants: Babaton (Aritzia)
Shoes: Lindsay Phillips (similar) / Necklace: JewelMint / Bracelet: gift
Clutch: YSL (in black)

July 11, 2013

What's In My Beach Bag? (& June Must-Reads)

Question of the month from Kristen: What are your beach bag essentials?

Vancouver's been having a heat wave recently so this question comes at the perfect time. Here are some of the things I like to carry with me when I'm spending a day at the beach (which is conveniently just a short walk away from my home!)...

Mine is from Aritzia. I have a stockpile of these in various colours/designs because they've been the Private Pre-Sale gift for Tier 1 customers for the last few years.

My go-to sunscreens are Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Water Light Daily Face Sunscreen (reviewed here) and Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunscreen. The AVON Sun+ Cooling After Sun Aloe Gel is also a must... my boyfriend and I used a ton of this when we were in Hawaii after we spent a bit too much time in the sun.

I always fill up a water bottle with ice to keep it cold (mine is a Klean Kanteen) and bring along a few snacks. Lately I've been loving dried fruits and veggies from a local store, AYOUB'S.

Right now I'm reading The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson. This book is SO funny that I've actually become one of those people who laughs out loud in public when I'm reading it.

I'm always curious to see what other people carry in their beach bags (or bags in general) so if you've done a similar post, let me know. And don't forget to check out the other girls' must-reads for the month of June!

July 8, 2013


After many long hours, my new apartment is finally starting to come together... which means I can actually start enjoying summer and all the activities that come along with this wonderful season. Like weddings! Thankfully this Chi Chi "Regina" dress came along at just the right time as I'll be attending one at the end of the month.

The embellishments were what caught my eye immediately - I just love the variety of beads and gems. The pattern also acts like a built-in necklace which means I won't be loaded down with heavy accessories at the end of the night. After all, you know how sweaty those dance floors can get!

Dress: Chi Chi (c/o) / Heels: Mossimo (similar) / Clutch: Rachel Zoe (similar)
Bracelet: Fine Finds (c/o) 

July 3, 2013

Insta-Beauty: AVON Fiji Paradise, Lise Watier Something Sweet & Sun Destination, Montagne Jeunesse Clay Spa Masks, London Drugs Fall Cosmetics Preview, and Philosophy Turn Back Time

In reviewing some of my recent Instagram snapshots, a common theme emerged: beauty, beauty, and more beauty. So without further ado, here's a product-themed round-up!

Summer collections, as I mentioned in this post, have been simply amazing this year and AVON Fiji Paradise is no exception. I've especially been loving the All-Over Face Powder (a gorgeous gradient blush) and the new Speed Dry+ Nail Enamels (Teal Appeal is the perfect pedi colour).

Lise Watier, one of my favourite Canadian brands, has also been churning out some really interesting products lately. Their new perfume, Something Sweet, is a gourmand scent that's actually quite fresh at the same time. The fragrance is exclusive to Shoppers Drug Mart, with a roll-on set to be released next month. Rounding out the collection is the adorable macaron-inspired Sweet Lips lip balm which comes in three flavours: Berries, Chocolate, and Pistachio. Yum!

To keep my Hawaiian tan alive, I've been using Lise Watier's limited edition Sun Destination Collection. The Sun Bronzing Powder is gigantic and reminiscent of some much more expensive Guerlain bronzers, plus the Illuminating Bronzing Gel mixes well with makeup bases to give a nice glow.

Montagne Jeunesse, a drugstore staple brand, has been my go-to for skin pampering lately. The new Clay Spa masques are infused into natural bamboo fabric to allow for deep cleaning without the typical mess (once you're done, the clay gently lifts away with the fabric). Supplementing these masques is the new Exotic Fruits collection, which contains "freshly squeezed" ingredients and smells delicious.

In addition to testing out all of these wonderful products, I've also been busy attending a few fun beauty events/product launches. Here's a peek at what I've been up to...

London Drugs Fall Cosmetics Preview

London Drugs sure knows how to throw a party, as those of us invited to their Fall Cosmetics Preview quickly found out. Whisked away on helicopters, we were flown to a private airplane hangar where we got the scoop on the upcoming product launches at London Drugs (trust me when I say there's a lot to get excited about).

Representatives from many different beauty brands were present to give makeovers, tips, and demos. We also got a chance to play with the new products before they even hit the shelves. For a beauty blogger, this was seriously like being a kid in a candy store!

Here are just a few of the things you can look forward to seeing at London Drugs over the next few months:

Mineral Fusion nail polish, NYX, Maybelline

Revlon Skinlights, Cargo Water Resistant Blush in Ibiza, Maybelline Fit Me Stick Foundation, Layla Pro Nail Polish, Annabelle Twist Up Lipstick

Philosophy Turn Back Time

Last week, I also attended the launch of Philosophy's latest product, Time in a Bottle. This age-defying serum is formulated with a breakthrough DNA renewal complex and high-potency vitamin C8 activator (which you mix in yourself using a mini funnel). I'm consistently impressed with Philosophy so I can't wait to try out this product.

Phew, that was a jam-packed post! Be sure to follow me on Instagram for more of my beauty updates - my username is @alison_elle.

July 1, 2013

FASHION Magazine Beauty Panel: Canada Day Nails

HAPPY CANADA DAY! I wish I could be BBQ-ing and relaxing today but unfortunately I have spent the entire long weekend packing/moving, making countless trips to furniture stores, and trying to come up with a suitable organization system for my new apartment. So stressful. So not fun.

But hey... at least my nails are showing a little spirit!

Layla Pro in GB31, Essie Blanc, AVON Nail Art Enamel in Reviving Red

I've clearly been on a bit of a nail art streak lately (see my recent pastel rose & stripes manicure and nautical nails) so when the Fashion Magazine Beauty Panel was challenged to create some patriotic nail art, I had to participate. Check out the full post here.

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