April 30, 2015

Perfume Picks for Mother's Day

A number of new fragrances have been showing up in my mailbox lately -- conveniently in time for Mother's Day on May 10. If you're looking for a present for that special woman in your life, maybe this perfume roundup will give you a few ideas!

My Burberry was inspired by the brand's iconic trench coat and is meant to "capture the essence of a London garden after the rain." A meld of florals (including sweet pea, geranium, freesia, and rose), this scent is sophisticated and pleasant for daily wear. The rectangular glass bottle is reminiscent of my personal favourite Miss Dior Cherie, though the round stopper has been made to resemble a Burberry trench coat button. Plus, if you head to the Burberry Beauty Counter at The Bay, you can pick it up with special packaging for Mother's Day (a bow-imprinted outer box), making it just perfect for gifting.

Azzaro Pour Elle is a new launch for May 2015, the feminine version of the popular Azzaro Pour Homme created in 1978. I find it hard to describe this fragrance other than maybe "seductive" and "sensual" (all descriptors I'm sure your mom would love in a perfume, haha). Think: a woody amber floral, all housed in an uber chic bottle.

As a lover of gourmand fragrances, Angel by Thierry Mugler has been on my radar for years and I am a huge fan. Composed of many different notes, including coconut, mandarin orange, cotton candy, honey, amber, patchouli, chocolate, vanilla, and caramel.... basically, it's everything sweet! Add in the incredibly unique star-shaped bottle (now refillable) and there's no denying why Angel is considered by many to be such a signature scent.

AVON Rare Amethyst is the newest addition to Avon's Rare Collection,  a perfume collection inspired by precious stones and metals. Housed in a purple jewel-like bottle, Rare Amethyst features a blend of violet, plum, and sandalwood. It's woodsy and sweet and would make a great evening scent. The price point on this is also much lower than my other perfume picks so is a nice option if you're on a budget.

April 27, 2015

East Van Graffiti Alley

I mentioned last post that I wished we had an alley like Clarion Alley in San Francisco. Well, I've found one right here in Vancouver! Although, I do have to thank Melissa from House of Hudson for this find. Melissa is a local jewelry designer who crafts exclusively with square sterling silver wire. Her pieces are heavily inspired by symbolism and are uniquely detailed... honestly, I've never seen anything quite like them. I'll be sharing a few of my favourite pieces over the next week or so and first up is this gorgeous moonstone necklace. Isn't it so pretty?

House of Hudson can be found at Le Marché St. George, which is also hosting a summer pop-up shop until May 10. Be sure to check it out if you're in Vancouver but if not, some of Melissa's pieces are also available in their online store.

Silk Tank: Club Monaco (here) / Velvet Kimono: Zara (similar)
Denim Shorts: Rag & Bone (different wash) / Shoes: Alexander Wang (here)
Necklace: House of Hudson (c/o)

April 23, 2015

I Left My Heart in San Francisco

It had been a few years since I last visited San Francisco but I have wanted to go back for quite some time now. The city holds some very special memories for me and, to be honest, I wasn't sure how this visit would affect me with that nostalgia factor at work. This time around, I wanted to do some things I hadn't done before and I think I was able to accomplish that.

Although I was not staying in San Francisco, we ended up in the city on a number of occasions. The Fisherman's Wharf area could obviously not be missed and was perfect for a relaxed and sunny stroll.

This was followed by a cable car ride! I had never done this before and honestly have always thought it was quite tourist-y (it is). However, we managed to snag seats/standing positions right at the front of the car which made for a super fun ride -- especially going up and down hills.

Another thing I have always wanted to do was bike across the Golden Gate Bridge. The weather was perfect this day, and we ended up in Sausalito where we grabbed a late lunch from Hamburgers and sat down by the water to eat.

One thing I love about San Francisco is how distinct it is, with its hilly landscape, interesting architecture, and colourful houses. I was lucky enough to get a few wonderful views of the city, first from Twin Peaks...

... and then from Coit Tower, where you can get a 360-degree view from atop Telegraph Hill.

I spent a lot of time in the Mission as well, which is known for its great restaurants. We tried Vietnamese food at MAU and had the most amazing tacos at Tacolicious. I also became so enamoured with the hot Hong Kong Milk Tea with pearls at Boba Guys that I ended up there twice.

The Mission is also home to Clarion Alley, an alley full of murals that change frequently. I wish we had a place like this in Vancouver. I mean, how perfect would it be for outfit shoots?

I have a lot more photos from San Francisco but this gives a good snapshot at some of the highlights. If you haven't seen my Pacific Coast Highway road trip recap, be sure to check that out too!

April 20, 2015

FOTD: Burberry Beauty

A few weeks ago, I was invited to preview the new Burberry Beauty Counter, which is now open at The Bay in Richmond Centre. This opening has been a long time coming since Burberry Beauty pulled out in 2012 (you may recall there used to be counters in Holt Renfrew), as designer Christopher Bailey wanted to reclaim & reimagine the brand's beauty line.

Getting the chance to play with untouched testers was incredibly fun and I also had the pleasure of speaking with Patricia Bensimon, Burberry Beauty's National Trainer, who helped me pick out the products I'm using for this FOTD.

On my face, I am wearing Velvet Foundation in Trench No. 206. This is a matte finish foundation that is great for oily/combination skin. I thought the colour match was good for me though the coverage is heavier than what I usually go for (I mostly wear mineral makeup and wear liquid foundations only occasionally).

On my eyes, I am wearing the Complete Eye Palette in Plum Pink No. 06. I am a sucker for purple shadows (see this 2010 review of a Dior fave), so I was immediately drawn to this quad. Like Dior, the palette comes housed in a black velvet case and includes three small brushes (a sponge tip applicator, angled brush, and blending brush). I personally wouldn't use these brushes for everyday application, but they're handy for travelling or on-the-go. The shadows feature Burberry's signature plaid imprint design and are buttery soft yet very pigmented. Honestly, even though it's a bit weird to describe makeup this way, I'd say they feel luxurious and expensive.

On my lips, I am wearing Burberry Kisses Lipstick in English Rose No. 17. The formula is light and hydrating, and is designed to allow you to build up layers for greater pigment. My lips are already quite pigmented so on me, the colour really just looks like MLBB. I did, however, find the lipstick very comfortable to wear. Plus, the packaging is so nice! The cap is magnetic and spins around to click in place, much like the NARS Audacious Lipstick tubes do.

To complete this makeup look, I popped on a pair of ESQIDO false lashes in Miss Dolly. I thought they were a bit Twiggy-like and  thus a fitting match for this quintessential British brand.

April 15, 2015

Highway 1 / Pacific Coast Highway

It has been a longtime dream of mine to take a roadtrip down Highway 1, largely in part to this song by The Ataris (hello, throwback to 2003). In our Ford Mustang Convertible, I actually got the chance to experience "cruising down Pacific Coast Highway, put the top down, crawl into the backseat" and it honestly lived up to my every expectation. If you get a chance to do this drive, I cannot recommend it enough.

We started our journey in Santa Cruz, where we decided to explore the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, California's oldest surviving amusement park.

After hanging around the beach a bit, soaking in the sun and enjoying the feeling of sand in our toes, we were off to Monterey, which marked the start of the 17-Mile Drive.

The 17-Mile Drive is a scenic route through Pebble Beach, known for its world-famous golf courses and, of course, the gorgeous coastline.

After making (many) pit stops for photos, we ended up in Carmel before continuing on to Big Sur. Here, the terrain was less rocky, more green, and so so beautiful. Big Sur is also home to the iconic Bixby Creek Bridge, which you may recognize from various car commercials and TV shows.

After looking at these pictures, I really can't believe it's already been a week since I've been back... this day now feels like forever ago. Stay tuned for my next California vacation re-cap, where I'll be sharing some snaps from the lovely city of San Francisco!

April 13, 2015

Sneakers & Platform Oxfords

My Monthly Must-Reads girls and I have teamed up this month for a reunion post (it's been a few years since we last posted together) to discuss our favourite Spring trends. If you've seen my outfits you'll know I don't straight up follow trends and I also don't wear much colour so instead I have decided to share two types of shoes I've been loving this season.

First up: sneakers! I am especially happy that they have made a comeback... not that they have ever been "out" per se... Obviously sneakers and runners have a utilitarian function, but there's no denying that it's become much more mainstream for people to now wear them outside of the gym. I wear my black Nike Frees a ton, both to work out and as casual wear, and I recently picked up a pair of Nike Air Max Theas.

Another shoe trend I've recently gotten on board with are platform oxfords/brogues. They give height but are comfier than stilettos, and I think look great with menswear-inspired looks. These Nine West Vinata Lace-Up Oxfords (c/o) are a reasonably-priced alternative to the popular Stella McCartney platform oxfords we've been seeing around since last Fall, and they come in a range of colours apart from this black/pewter combo.

April 9, 2015

Futuristic FOTD: Estée Lauder x Courrèges

I'm back in Vancouver after a super fun week in California and I can't wait to share some pictures from my trip. If you follow me on Instagram, you will have gotten a sneak peek at some highlights... and you may have also seen that I now have silver hair! Sort of, anyway (it's just toner). Before it washes out, I thought it would be perfect to put together a kind of space-inspired FOTD based on the Estée Lauder x Courrèges Collection. Design legend André Courrèges is, after all, know for his futuristic designs and the products really pay homage to this legacy.

The main part of this look is obviously the eyes. I used MAC Pro Longwear Paintpot in Layin' Low as a base before layering on Estée Lauder Eye Amplifier in Black Silver. This eyeshadow comes in fun white bubbly packaging and is super shimmery (but not glittery, if that makes sense). Next, I blended MAC Eyeshadow in Bouffant from the MAC is Beauty Collection into the crease and onto my brow bone for a highlight. The pièce de résistance was, of course, the Estée Lauder Ultra White Eyeliner. This liner is super opaque but also a little difficult to work with. However, there's no denying that it does look very cool. I actually thought it made me look like an anime character! To complete the eyes I then layered on two mascaras: AVON AeroVolume with my HG Maybelline Volum' Express Turbo Boost.

On my face, I started with MAKE UP FOR EVER Step 1 Skin Equalizer. This new line of ten primers allows you to combine primers targeted towards your skin's texture and tone to create the perfect canvas for your makeup. I used Redness Corrector + Mattifying which is the perfect combination for me. Next, I used Estée Lauder Perfectionist Youth Infusing Makeup and set it with Estée Lauder Perfecting Loose Powder (this stuff is super lightweight and gives a really flawless effect). To highlight, I applied MAC Cream Colour Base in Summer Wind from the MAC x Mia Moretti Collection onto my cheekbones. I don't have the highlighter from the Courrèges Collection but this one seems like a pretty good dupe. For hint of light pink cheeks, I topped them off with a sweep of colour from Marcelle Quad Blush in Ultimate Pinks.

Keeping with the 60's mod Space Age theme, I didn't want to go with too bold of a lip. Instead, I used MAC Creme Cup (not pictured above because I forgot it... apparently that's what happens when you're using so many products!)

April 2, 2015


Finally the time has come -- I'm off to California! We've got lots on our agenda, from catching an NBA basketball game and hitting the nightlife to hiking and road-tripping down the Pacific Coast Highway. I'll try and update my Instagram if I can so be sure to follow along for updates. In the meantime, here's an outfit just perfect for urban exploring.

Tee: Wilfred Free (Aritzia) / Plaid Shirt: TNA (Aritzia)
Jeans: J Brand (in white or similar) / Leather Jacket: Mackage
Shoes: Converse (here) / Backpack: Herschel Supply Co. (here)

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