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.

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