November 27, 2014

(Burrard Street) Bridging It

I am being such a creature of habit these days: sweaters layered over shirts (or in this case a shirt dress) and sunnies (when it's not raining, of course). Speaking of sunglasses, I was recently sent this fabulous pair of Ray Ban Oversized Clubmasters from SmartBuyGlasses. I have an obvious Ray Ban addiction (I also own the flash aviators and New Wayfarers) so when I saw the huge selection on SmartBuyGlasses, I was hooked. The company also offers fast shipping, and when they say "fast" they really mean it. My sunglasses arrived in only a few days and even came with a complimentary travel cleaning kit.

If you're in the market for new designer sunglasses or prescription glasses, I highly recommend SmartBuyGlasses. They'd also make great presents for the upcoming holiday season! Check out the Christmas Gift Guide, which makes it easy to shop for those on your list thanks to a number of curated themes. Alternatively, at least for me personally, a gift card is always appreciated.

Shirt Dress: Wilfred Free (Aritzia) / Sweater: T. Babaton (Aritzia)
Jeans: PAIGE (lighter wash) / Coat: Community (Aritzia)
Booties: Rachel Comey (here and in black) / Bag: Mulberry (here)
Sunglasses: Ray Ban (c/o SmartBuyGlasses)

November 25, 2014

Gift Guide: ShopBop & EastDane Black Friday Sales

Is it too soon to be posting a gift guide? Maybe... but Shopbop and EastDane are both having their "The Big Event" sales right now, which means it's an excellent time to start Christmas shopping! Especially because the more you spend, the more you save:

Spend $250= 15% off
Spend $500= 20% off
Spend $1000 = 25% off

To get myself thinking about my own Christmas shopping list, I've put together a few ideas from both sites that I think would make excellent presents (or, you know, treats for yourself)...

The sale started today and runs until December 1 at 11:59 p.m. PT. Details on Shopbop and EastDane -- but here's a big one: no brand exclusions apply!

November 21, 2014

Rocky Mountain Soap Company Opens in Vancouver

I first encountered Rocky Mountain Soap Company when I lived in Calgary (the company started in Canmore, Alberta), and then again when I attended the ChickAdvisor Showcase this past summer. As a Canadian-owned and -operated business, Rocky Mountain specializes in 100% natural and toxin-free products, using only the finest essential oils, pure natural beeswax, food grade vegetable oils, real grains, fresh herbs, fruits, and vegetables.

With this philosophy, it makes perfect sense that the company has decided to expand to Vancouver where we obviously love everything green and environmentally conscious. This month sees the opening of two new concept stores: one downtown in the Bentall Centre and the other in Burnaby at Metrotown.

I was kindly sent a few products to test out and I have really been enjoying their addition to my usual skincare routine. At bedtime, I begin by applying 2 pumps of the Rosehip Transformative Cleansing Oil to a cotton pad. The oil is fairly good at wiping away makeup and dirt but if I'm wearing a lot of makeup, I do prefer to do a full wash with a cleanser first. Next, I spritz on the Aloe Vera Hydrating Toner and wipe it off with a cotton pad. I prefer natural toners like this one since many commercial toners contain alcohol which can be very drying. I usually alternate moisturizers depending on how my skin is feeling, but have been experimenting with the Pomegranate Day Cream every few days. The cream feels light but rich and absorbs quickly. The best part, however, is the scent which I can really only describe as "delicious" (ha ha, sorry that is so not descriptive).

Rocky Mountain Soap Company was founded in 1995 to make natural soap by hand so trying their soap is a must as well. The Sugar Plum Soap is a limited edition holiday product which would make a great stocking stuffer. The scent is subtle but a little spicy and the bar contains gorgeous purple swirls throughout, making it a pretty addition to your sink or bathtub as well.

November 17, 2014

Greyed Out

If you follow me on Instagram (if you don't, what are you waiting for?), you may have already gotten a sneak peek of this outfit which has been on major repeat this season. As someone who rarely wears colour, black and white are always my go-tos but I've been injecting quite a bit of grey in lately as well. You can't go wrong with matte grey nails either, and I highly recommend this combination of American Apparel Factory Grey and Essie Matte About You Top Coat if you want to get the same look.

Shirt: Talula (Aritzia) / Sweater: Wilfred (Aritzia) / Pants: Babaton (Aritzia)
Booties: Sam  Edelman (all black and suede) / Hat: Holt Renfrew (similar)
Bag: Proenza Schouler (here)

November 14, 2014

L'Occitane En Provence: Arlésienne

L'Occitane En Provence has always been one of those brands I keep meaning to try more of but never get around to for one reason or another. It's a shame really because I actually do like the products I have tried -- especially their Cherry Blossom Hand Cream, which comes packaged in L'Occitane's iconic painter tube. That's all about to change, however, since their gorgeous new flagship store happens to be very close to my office (hello lunch break pit stop!). I was lucky enough to be invited to their recent opening event where I was able to admire the thoughtful store design, learn more about the brand, its history, and explore some of their collections.

For those not familiar with the brand, L'Occitane is a family-owned French company that prides itself on its unique ingredients and signature scents. As I went around the store testing out products it became apparent to me that if you're looking for a good fragrance that's delicate, well-crafted, and not overpowering, this is where you should come.

This winter, they've released a new line called Arlésienne for Holiday 2014. Inspired by women in the South of France, the fragrance subtly blends saffron, rose, and violet. I usually don't like florals but Arlésienne is definitely an exception. The scent is sweet and feminine without being cloying and is perfect for daytime wear. I wish there was a way to transmit scent over the Internet because I would if I could -- it smells so good!

Shower Cream ($22 CAD) and EDT ($48 CAD) (c/o)

Be sure to check out the new collection, as well as L'Occitane's carefully curated gift sets for those on your Christmas shopping list. And if you're in Vancouver, the new store at the corner of Robson and Burrard is an absolute must-see.

November 10, 2014

Fall Accessorizing

I know it's the most cliché thing ever for a fashion blogger to say but I love Fall outfits. Last year I shared some of my Fall staples and while those are still going strong, this year I've really been embracing accessories too -- from a giant & cozy blanket scarf to a cognac leather tote (which you might recognize was on my recent ShopBop wishlist).

For chilly but sunny days, sunglasses are also a huge must. I have especially been loving this pair from Polette, a super affordable French eyewear company (read about their concept and history). Not only are the frames on-trend, but they are made of metal which means they are basically indestructible. Be sure to check out the Polette website for a huge selection of prescription glasses and sunglasses, plus their Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for more eyewear fun!

Sweater: Forever 21 (similar and similar) / Pants: Babaton (Aritzia)
Tote: Madewell (here and different colours) / Blanket Scarf: Wilfred (Aritzia)
Booties: Rachel Comey (here) / Sunglasses: Polette (c/o)

November 6, 2014

Skincare Backed By Science

Science has never been my strong suit (there is a reason I have a B.A. and then went to law school, after all) but I have always been fascinated by beauty products that claim to be "backed by science." Aside from the intriguing catch phrase they carry, how do some of these products differ and do they really work?

I was introduced to Cloud Vitamin Cream this past summer by a local PR company. Created by the award-winning dermatologist, Dr. Gordon Telford, his vitamin creams are the result of extensive data gathered both in the lab and from years of consultative experience with patients.

I was sent a tube of Cloud's Vitamin A Cream ($48 CAD), made with retinyl palmitate which is a naturally occurring form of Vitamin A that is sometimes called "nature's sun protection." Apparently, while conventional sunscreens like the kinds I typically buy every summer at the drugstore provide decent protection from sunburns, they protect against a very limited percentage of the sun's skin damaging spectrum. Cloud's Vitamin A Cream, on the other hand, protects against 93% more of the sun's power than conventional sunscreen. Once absorbed into the skin, it is virtually waterproof and its sun-protecting effects last up to 17 days (!!).

I have been applying the cream on and off for the past few months and I'll be honest in saying that I'm not entirely sure how to tell if it's been working. I do, however, love the concept behind the line and the fact that its effects are backed by scientific studies.

Another line of medical skincare that I have been using recently is SkinCeuticals, and in particular, their new antioxidant night concentrate Resveratrol B E ($165 CAD). I was introduced to the line and this product last week at the gorgeous South Granville space that houses ProjectSkin MD.

Dr. William McGillivray, the dermatologist who founded ProjectSkin MD, was kind enough to walk us through the science behind resveratrol, a potent antioxident found in grapes, berries, nuts, and other plant sources. Although resveratrol has long been known as the "longevity molecule," as a hydrophobic (oil-loving) molecule, it has been extremely challenging for scientists to solubilize a high concentration in an aqueous solution for use in skincare products. Through extensive research, however, Skinceuticals was able to formulate a maximized concentration of pure, stabilized resveratrol which penetrates skin through a delivery system of hydrotropes. (Seriously, how scientific do I sound right now?)

In a 12-week clinical study, Resveratrol B E was found to significantly improve radiance, firmness, elasticity, and density in women aged 45-60. Although I'm not in that age range, anti-aging products have become an incredibly important part of my skincare routine (prevention is key!) and with all the science and research behind it, I'm confident that this product has been an excellent addition to my arsenal. I guess time will tell how well it works...

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