December 29, 2014

Sleepless in Seattle

I hope you have all been having a lovely holiday season! Although my Christmas was very low-key compared to previous years, it was honestly a nice break from the usual craziness.

A few weeks ago, however, I did head down to Seattle for some pre-holiday fun. On the agenda was a 12 Bars of X-mas Pub Crawl, which is exactly as it sounds: 12 bars in 8 hours, starting in Belltown and ending in Capitol Hill. It was so fun getting a taste of the city's nightlife with the locals but of course, I made sure there was time for some tourist-y activities as well.

(yes, I am totally wearing a reindeer & snowflake dress)

I feel like you can't really go sightseeing in Seattle without a visit to Pike Place Market or the Space Needle. The Olympic Sculpture Park is also really nice to walk around in with a coffee in hand on a nice day.

As a huge NFL fan, it was also incredibly exciting to get swept up in all the football furor down at CenturyLink Field. I wish I'd had tickets to the game despite not being a Seahawks fan (go Cards!)

Another place I really wanted to check out was the Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room. As the birthplace of Starbucks, Seattle is home to the only location -- kind of like a Willy Wonka factory for coffee lovers. The space is absolutely beautiful with all the wood, copper, and machinery.

I packed a ton into less than 48 hours, from (exorbitant amounts of) eating and drinking to shopping and other fun. Seattle is so close to Vancouver, I'm not sure why I don't go more often but after this weekend I am definitely already planning my next!

December 22, 2014

Velvet Kimono (& New Blonder Hair)

I debuted my new hair on Instagram a few weeks ago and it's finally making its appearance on the blog (I had a backlog of pictures to post first). I am loving the lighter and more ashy balayage and will hopefully make it to white blonde on my next salon visit! Also super obsessed with this long velvet kimono. Long time readers know what a huge fan of I am of kimonos and wraps (see just a few examples here, here, and  here) so this one kind of had to come home with me.

Velvet Kimono: Zara (here) / Silk Tank: Club Monaco (here)
Pants: Babaton (Aritzia) / Booties: Topshop (similar)
Purse: Proenza Schouler (here)

December 15, 2014

Parka Love

This parka has been a mainstay in my winter wardrobe for well over 6 years now, and it's still going strong. I especially love it with some of the more sporty looks I've been wearing this season!

Sweatshirt: TNA (Aritzia) / Leggings: H&M (similar)
Parka: TNA (Aritzia) / Shoes: Nike
Toque: Babaton (Aritzia) / Sunglasses: Ray Ban (here)

December 12, 2014

Holiday Rose Gold FOTD

It's been ages since I've done a FOTD, so I figured now was as good a time as any since we're right in the middle of holiday party season. I adore rose gold (see my review of Urban Decay's Naked3 Palette, a perennial rose gold favourite) so I decided to use this lovely shade as inspiration for this look.

I first started off with Marcelle Ideal Skin Perfector, which is supposed to be used prior to moisturizer (the company touts it as being to skin care what BB cream is to makeup). Next, I applied MAC Prep + Prime in Natural Radiance for an overall glow.

On my face, I am wearing L'Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation in Natural Buff, a new long-wearing oil-resistant foundation. For some subtle shimmer, I used the YSL Touche Éclat in Rose Gold (which you might remember seeing on my Instagram a few months ago) topped off with MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Stereo Rose as a blush.

I wanted a very soft light pink for my eyes so I started with Lise Watier 24 Hrs Glam Eyeshadow Pencil in Satin Glam as a base. Next, I applied the pink shade in the Lise Watier Quatuor Féline, which was a limited edition Fall 2014 palette, all over my lids and added the champagne colour under my brows as a highlight. For some extra glam, I am wearing ESQIDO mink lashes in Unforgettable with NYX Two Timer Liner in Jet Black. I have reviewed ESQIDO lashes before and they remain my favourite false lashes as they are super comfortable to wear and look so pretty on.

Since this makeup look is not overtly showy, I think the statement lip really pulls it together. This is Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick in Confident, a richly pigmented berry fuschia.

Phew -- that was a lot of products! To keep all my hard work intact, I spritzed on the new L'Oreal Infallible Pro Spray & Set Makeup Extender, which is the company's first makeup setting spray for the mass market. It's a lot like the Skindinavia Makeup Finishing Sprays except more easily accessible since you can find it at your local drugmart.

And while we're at it, I might as well show my winter nails too... this is an alternating mani featuring Avon Gel Finish Nail Polish in Alaska and Iceberg White. I love the Gel Finish line (the formula applies like a dream and is very glossy), and you can't go wrong with either of these colours. 

P.S. Be sure to check out my post on this week's FASHION Magazine Beauty Panel for more pictures of my holiday hair from this look -- an easy braided headband!

December 10, 2014

Revlon Boho Chic Collection: Nail Polish

For Fall/Winter 2014, Revlon has released its Boho Chic Collection by Gucci Westman, the company's global artistic director. A celebration of French mystique, the collection features a range of gorgeous shades in Revlon's main product range including a super pretty PhotoReady Primer + Shadow Palette and four new Colour Suede lipsticks. Today, however, I've got the three nail polishes to share.

Jewel tones and glitter are holiday season staples, and the Boho Chic Collection is teeming with great versions to get you party-ready. The three new limited edition shades that Revlon has added to its nail polish lineup are: Bohemian, Artsy, and Edgy (left to right).

Bohemian is a metallic turquoise with microfine glitters that give off a sparkly sheen. I love this colour because it reminds me of a peacock feather -- so pretty, right? Application was super easy as well; this is only two coats.

Artsy is a royal blue jelly with a mix of silver hexagonal, circle, and bar glitters. It's slightly reminiscent of my favourite Deborah Lippmann Across The Universe though Across The Universe contains different coloured glitters (which I personally prefer since they add more dimension). This is three coats.

Edgy is Artsy's purple counterpart, and this is also three coats. Due to their thick formulas, both require extra care when applying. You can't just paint the polish on like normal because you'll end up with major streaking and not much glitter. Instead, you have to blob it on and kind of place the glitter onto your nails with the brush for maximum opacity.

I'm not wearing a top coat in any of these swatches but I would definitely recommend using one, especially something chip-resistant for Artsy and Edgy. Without a top coat, the texture is rough and chunky, and both glitters chipped like crazy after only a few days.

December 8, 2014

Sweater Dress

I don't know why its taken me so long to get a sweater dress... there is something so easy about throwing on a warm & cozy knit and just being ready to go!

Sweater Dress: Wilfred Free (Aritzia) / Boots: Steve Madden (similar and similar)
Tote: Madewell (here)

December 4, 2014

Fresh Sugar Legends

For all my fellow lip product junkies out there, can I just say that you need the Fresh Sugar Legends set? Like, right now. With a shade for every day of the week, it's a great way to try out Fresh's signature lip treatments without investing in the full-size versions first (if you received the 2012 Sephora birthday gift, these minis are the exact same size: 2.2 g). I have been dying to try some of the other shades myself, so it was a lucky coincidence when this showed up in my mailbox a few weeks ago.

If you've never tried the Sugar lip treatments before, they are noticeably different from your typical lip balm. The formula, which contains SPF 15, is super moisturizing (an almost "slippy" texture) and feels very comfortable on the lips. Because of this, you do have to be careful with the product since it's prone to melting or getting smushed if your application is too vigorous.

The Sugar Legends set contains seven of Fresh's tinted lip treatments: Sugar Petal (pink blossom), Sugar Tulip (sheer hot pink), Sugar Rosé (sheer rose), Sugar Honey (warm nude), Sugar Cherry (sheer sunny red), Sugar Passion (vibrant yet sheer rouge), and Sugar Berry (flirty berry). Each shade applies sheer but can be layered for a more opaque colour.

If you can get your hands on this (I know a lot of Sephoras have been selling out), don't hesitate! It's a $93 value for only $65 CAD and would make the perfect gift for either yourself or a friend.

December 2, 2014

My Favourite Spa in Vancouver: Miraj Hammam

Earlier this year, I discovered the Miraj Hammam Spa and since then, it has quickly become my favourite spa in Vancouver. My last visit was for some birthday pampering back in September so I was super excited to be invited in for a complimentary treatment last week. Work has been really busy lately so having some "me"-time was much needed. Besides, I should have written about this place a long time ago anyway since I love it so much!

Based on authentic Middle Eastern traditions, Miraj Hammam is not your typical spa experience. For one thing, you must be comfortable being completely naked in front of someone else (the esthetician). Disposable underwear is available but I personally don't use it. All of the employees I've encountered thus far have been nothing but professional and made me feel completely at ease in what could otherwise be an awkward situation.

As for the treatment, you first wrap yourself in a sarong and enter the hammam, which is a steam room that pumps out a refreshing eucalyptus mist to stimulate the senses. After 15 minutes in the hammam, an esthetician takes you to an outer area of the room for the gommage (full-body exfoliation). Using authentic Moroccan black soap made with olive oil and eucalyptus, you are scrubbed from head to toe with specially imported gloves and then rinsed down. It may sound a little weird but it really does leave your skin feeling incredibly soft and supple.

After the gommage, a massage is recommended to add some moisture back to your skin. The masseuses at Miraj Hammam are so great that I have honestly fallen asleep every time from being so relaxed. The relaxation then continues after the massage with some lounge time on comfy velvet beds with silk pillows, magazines, and a cup of hot tea and sweet cakes.

If you are looking for a unique spa experience, I cannot recommend Miraj Hammam enough. Like I said, it's my absolute favourite spot in the city (my friends can attest to how frequently I rave about it) and I am already thinking of my next visit back!

Location: 1495 West 6th Avenue, Vancouver, BC

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