November 29, 2016

Bows in the Back

This looks like a totally plain outfit from the front, right? Like, wow, Alison -- you paired a grey sweater with some black pants. Well, the reason I needed to have this sweater was because of the bow detailing on the back. Not to mention the fact that it's made of cashmere, a.k.a. heaven in fabric form!

Sweater: Club Monaco (here and here) / Pants: Babaton (Aritzia)
Flats: Sam Edelman / Bag: Chanel

November 25, 2016

Stocking Stuffer Ideas from Arbonne, The Body Shop, and PC Home

You guys, today is November 25... that means Christmas is exactly one month away. Yikes! I've been trying to stay on top of my shopping list this year and get it done early but I'm still nowhere near finished. I figured it can't hurt to have a little bit of inspiration though, so if you're looking for some stocking stuffers or ideas for smaller presents, I've rounded up my top picks from a few favourite brands.

Arbonne, for example, always releases a great holiday collection -- so prettily packaged you don't even have to use wrapping paper, and this year's is no exception. Their sets are a little more on the pricey side but the company is known for their use of high quality, natural ingredients.

New for 2016 are the Olive Blossom & Eucalyptus Gift Set ($73), which includes a Cleansing Body Polish and Body Butter, as well as the Shea Butter Collection Hand Trio ($50), featuring three hand lotions in original Shea Butter, Lavender Mint, and Apricot Vanilla. Both are great for scent lovers! As well, Arbonne has brought back the Tahitian Coconut Lip Therapy Set ($50) that I reviewed last year; it's gotten a refresher  with the Lip Salve now coming in a squeeze tube (plus an $8 price decrease!).

Back in October, I also had the pleasure of attending a Holiday 2016 preview for The Body Shop (the same time I was introduced to their face mask line, in fact) and came away with a bunch of products which I'm not only loving, but are just perfect for gifting. Proceeds from selected Christmas gifts go towards their newest campaign too, meaning that for every gift bought, The Body Shop will restore 1 square metre of rainforest in Vietnam, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

I can't get enough of the Love Me Fruity Body Butter Trio ($15 CAD), which includes 50 mL versions of The Body Shop's signature Satsuma, Strawberry, and Coconut Body Butters. These travel-size containers are a serious lifesaver for me on my frequent work trips to Northern British Columbia with its cold and dry weather. The Merry Kiss-mas Born Lippy Lip Care Wand ($20 CAD) features the cutest packaging and five different lip balms (Strawberry, Raspberry, Satsuma, Watermelon, and Passionberry). You could also split it up and use individual lip balms as stocking stuffers -- saving $10 in the process! And if you get the chance, I recommend checking out the new limited edition Vanilla Chai scent... it's seriously yummy. The Vanilla Chai Treat Box ($10 CAD) contains a mini Body Butter and Shower Gel.

If bath and body products aren't your giftee's thing, there are also some really affordable options from PC Home (yes, President's Choice, the brand you can find at Loblaws and Real Canadian Superstore).

I love the idea of putting a nice ornament in someone's stocking and this Gold Geometric Star Ornament ($6 CAD) is super pretty. The PC Life At Home collection also has a couple different hot water bottle options (including some that are made with faux fur), but I personally think the Woven Buffalo Plaid Hot Water Bottle ($15 CAD) would appeal to most people. Plus, who doesn't want something cozy like this to curl up with during the cold weather? For the tea drinker, you can't go wrong with a cute tea pot like this Fair Isle Teapot ($19 CAD) and a lovely hostess gift would be this chic black and gold Bold Cocktail Shaker ($12 CAD).

November 22, 2016

MAKE UP FOR EVER Pro Light Fusion (Rose Gold)

One of MAKE UP FOR EVER's Fall 2016 releases is the Pro Light Fusion line and I'm pretty it sure will be a top seller for the company. As you know, I actually prefer a matte look over a more dewy one due to my oily/combination skin, but even I cannot get over how gorgeous these new highlighters are.

Just like the Pro Bronze Fusion, which I have blogged about before, the new Pro Light Fusion comes housed in a round plastic compact and with the brand's signature wave surface pattern for optimal powder pick-up.

It also features the same creamy gel-powder formulatiom (seriously, how does MUFE do it?). The unique texture means it's easy to blend and can be layered depending on the amount of highlight you want. As you can see from my swatches below, a hard swipe will get you a very intense metallic finish which can be buffed out for a more natural radiant look.

I have the Pro Light Fusion in 01 (Rose Gold) which is perfect for light to medium skintones. It also comes in 02 (Gold) for tan to dark skintones. Retail price is $43 CAD which, admittedly, is a little pricey but you're paying for quality and a little does go a long way. Plus, seriously... look how pretty!

November 19, 2016

Riding Around

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have already gotten a peek at these pictures taken from what was probably my last bike ride of the year. Given the weather, I really don't think I'll be hopping back on for a spin until it's warmer and drier (basically Spring 2017). This is also the first time I'm featuring my new bike, which you may recall I picked up this summer as an addition to my beloved city cruiser. As you can see, it's totally different and my need to own two different bicycles was absolutely justified ;)

Hoodie: American Apparel (here) / Leather Jacket: Mackage
Leggings: Adidas (here) / Shoes: Adidas

November 16, 2016

Coach Eau de Parfum

I haven't shopped at Coach in probably a decade but I still have fond memories of my first few bag and wallet purchases from back in the day. No matter how you feel about their designs -- love them or hate them, I don't think you can deny that Coach remains an iconic American brand. Now, adding perfume to the mix, the company recently launched a new fragrance called Coach Eau De Parfum (not to be confused with its 2007 perfume of the same name).

This 2016 iteration of Coach Eau De Parfum was inspired by New York City with top notes of sparkling raspberry, pink pepper, and pear. Mid-notes of Turkish rose dry down to a base of suede musk and sandalwood. It's not entirely unique but is the kind of scent that will appeal to a wide audience, leaning more on the youthful side, which is what I think the company was going for since Chloe Grace Moretz is the brand ambassador.

The packaging has also seen a nice update that's both modern yet classic. The solid glass bottle features an engraved horse and carriage emblem and several signature Coach design details: the leather hang tag, similar to what is found on the brand's handbags and accessories, as well as a turn-lock closure which turns into an atomizer (you "unlock" it to spray).

Coach Eau de Parfum retails for $90 CAD (50 mL) and $115 CAD (90 mL). Find it at Hudson's Bay, Shoppers Drug Mart, Sears, Jean Coutu and Murale.

November 8, 2016

Rainy Day Blues

You might have noticed I've been a bit more absent than usual lately. Honestly, late Fall leading into Winter is always a tough season for me. For one thing, Vancouver's constant rain has really been getting me down. It's dark, dreary, and depressing and all I really want to do is stay indoors 24/7. Not only that, but I've also been recovering from a cold (being sick is the worst!) while trying to stay on top of work. Add in a move this month and preparing for laser eye surgery in December... basically, I cannot wait to get through this slump!

Blouse: Club Monaco / Sweater: J. Crew / Pants: Babaton (Aritzia)
Trench Coat: Burberry (here) / Booties: Vince / Bag: Longchamp (here)
Necklace: Happiness Boutique (c/o)

November 3, 2016

Estée Lauder Double Wear Nude Cushion Stick Radiant Makeup

This Fall, Estée Lauder has launched an interesting new foundation: the Double Wear Nude Cushion Stick Radiant Makeup (I know -- what a mouthful!) which is being touted as a makeup and pro tool in one. Inspired by all those cushion foundations we've been seeing around (example), it features a special built-in cushion tip applicator.

I'll admit I was initially a bit turned off by the cushion applicator thinking about how gross it would get after a few uses. However, the product designers did actually address this issue by making the sponge removable. You simply twist the gold-tone ring at the top to remove the entire tip and can then wash it with mild soap and water. This seems a bit finicky but if you make it part of your weekly makeup brush washing routine then it's not so bad. I guess problems only arise if you don't wash your makeup brushes that frequently!

Aside from the sponge tip, which does act like a little Beauty Blender for flawless application, this foundation is also really portable and great to throw in your bag when you're on the go. The innovative stick design also displays how much makeup is remaining; basically, the stick becomes smaller as you dispense the product.

As for the formula, it's quite light and gives sheer/medium coverage. If you've got oily/combination skin like me you might not like it though. With "radiant" in the name, you can expect a more dewy effect or, in my case, just find yourself looking super shiny.

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