November 17, 2017

A Matte Shellac Mani (feat. CND Mystic Slate)

Last week, I was invited to preview the new CND Glacial Illusion Collection at Prép Beauty Parlour and it's got to be one of my favourite nail polish collections that's been released in recent years. With the Arctic as its core inspiration, the collection features some gorgeous shades that are perfect for the winter and holiday season (check them all out here).

I was immediately drawn to Mystic Slate, an icy slate grey that leans blue. However, I also wanted to add a unique touch to my mani so I asked my manicurist to finish it with the Matte Top Coat from the CND Shellac Alluring Trilogy Collection.

That's right... a MATTE Shellac mani! Did you even know such a thing was possible? Most people love gel and Shellac manicures for the glossy shine, but I love that this top coat means you can now get the long wear of Shellac with a matte finish. 

I've tried matte top coats before like Essie Matte About You, but because I was dealing with regular nail polish, I found that I would get chipping after only a few days. This CND top coat, on the other hand, cures under a UV lamp like the regular Shellac top coat. It's a serious game changer.

I couldn't be happier with this mani and am honestly just obsessed with how it turned out. So chic, right?!

November 14, 2017

Big Changes

As you all know, I started this blog almost 8 years ago while I was attending law school. Since graduating in 2011, I have been working as a lawyer in a very specialized practice area and have, for privacy reasons, made efforts to ensure that my professional career is kept separate from my blogging hobby. In keeping with this caveat, I actually have some big news to share: as of today, I am officially leaving private practice! This decision was not an easy one to make as I truly love my firm and the work that we do. However, private practice has proven difficult for me in many ways and resulted in considerable stress and health issues over time. I felt I owed it to myself to see if there was a way I could transition my career into something more sustainable for the long-term. So, starting today, I will be taking on a new role at a large organization (still in law). Although it's a bit nerve-wracking to be taking this step, I am very excited about the new opportunity.

To celebrate, I had to buy myself something -- obviously. I love a bit of flash and this Prada Lion Bag definitely fit the bill. Who wouldn't love a statement piece that resembles a large door knocker?!

Blouse: TWIK (Simons) (c/o Chick Advisor) / Jeans: Frame (similar)
Boots: Vince / Bag: Prada (here)

November 6, 2017

Make Up For Ever Artist Face Color in B206 and B314

A few months ago, MAKE UP FOR EVER introduced its latest innovation in colour and customization: the Artist Face Color. Similar to the Artist Shadow line, Artist Face Color is a line of highlighters, sculpting powders, and blushes that come in magnetized refill pans which you can pop into either a single ($31 CAD for 1 refill + 1 palette), duo ($44 CAD for 2 refills + 1 palette) or a triple ($56 CAD for 3 refills + 1 palette).

The palette (for the duo and triple) is MUFE's standard design that we've seen on other products like the Ultra HD Pressed Powder, for example. It features a large mirror and a very strong magnet so you'll never have to worry about your refill pans falling out. 

I love the concept behind this release because it allows you to truly customize how you want your palette. You could have an entire highlighter palette or create the ultimate highlighter + sculpting power + blush combination. In total, there are 34 shades to choose from in a range of matte, shimmer, and pearl finishes. For ease of reference, highlighter shades are denoted by an H-#, sculpting powders by S-#, and blushes by B-#.

L-R: Artist Face Color in B206 and B314

Since I'm a blush fiend, I obviously went for a blush duo when MUFE offered me the opportunity to test these out. B206 is a matte which is described as a peachy pink. In the pan this sounds about right but an initial swatch looked like a cooler pale pink. However, once I blended it into my skin it did get warmer and appeared true to its description. B314 is a shimmer tangerine which is a lot more bold but very pretty.

Both blushes are highly pigmented and easily blendable. The textures are so nice as well... very soft and finely milled. If you're on the hunt for a new face colour (or two, or maybe even three), definitely check these out!

October 31, 2017

For Beloved Girl Cloud-Silk Masks

With colder weather slowly creeping in, I have fully been embracing my less busy schedule with some cozy pamper nights at home. This means candles, hot baths, and face masks!

I was recently sent some new masks to try out from For Beloved Girl, a new sister line from Taiwanese cosmeceutical company, For Beloved One. It's aimed at a younger demographic and offers a range of "cloud-silk masks" at a very reasonable price point of $12.99 CAD/pack of 3.

So what exactly is this "cloud-silk" technology? Crafted from top-grade cotton and textile technology, cloud-silk is transparent and invisible, with a high degree of elasticity. According to the brand, the ultra-fine cotton fibres in the masks lock in more serum for complete absorption within the skin. This mask is unlike anything I've ever used before. Unlike those thick and opaque white sheet masks most of us are probably used to, the material is super thin and, when pressed down on the skin, essentially see-through. Because of how malleable and soaked in serum the mask is, it is actually bit more difficult to work with since the cloud-silk folds over and sticks to itself but you can easily play around with it to get it into place.

For Beloved Girl Cloud-Silk Masks are also packed with minerals such as copper, iron, and zinc to target specific skin concerns. I received the Extreme Moisture Mineral Cloud-Silk Mask made with Hyaluronic Acid (Na) for extremely dry skin and the Skin Renewal Mineral Cloud-Silk Mask made with Calcium Lactate (Ca) to cleanse pores. Each mask apparently contains, on average, the equivalent of 1.88 bottles of mineral spring water spray. Talk about a luxurious treat for the skin!

For the Winter months, I know I will be reaching for the Extreme Moisture Mineral Cloud-Silk Mask (above) a ton. There's no heavily perfumed scent and it leaves my skin feeling ultra plump and hydrated.

For Beloved Girl offers six different masks to choose from and they can be found in-store at T&T or online at

October 26, 2017

Desert Discoveries

As I mentioned in my last post, I recently went to Phoenix, Arizona. Arizona is home to my favourite football team and it's been my dream for years to visit and attend a game -- a dream that finally became a reality a few weeks ago!

My first visit to the desert began with full immersion on the Lost Goldmine Trail where we trekked through fields of cacti and admired views of the Superstition Mountains.

Located nearby is the Goldfield Ghost Town, an abandoned mining town that has been reconstructed into a tourist attraction.

Just a short road trip away from Phoenix is Sedona, a.k.a. red rock country. This was definitely one of the highlights of our vacation... it was so beautiful.

We started out with a hike up Cathedral Rock, one of the scariest hikes I've ever done (you're basically climbing straight up rock faces). Despite the anxiety it caused me, this hike was well worth it for the views.

We also explored some of the other sights in Sedona like the Chapel of the Holy Cross and took in the stunning red sandstone formations, which were visible almost every way we turned.

Then, of course, there were the sports. Hockey games are ridiculously cheap in Arizona so we were able to get some great lower bowl seats to see Arizona Coyotes vs. Detroit Red Wings for only $25 each. These same tickets would cost an insane amount at a Vancouver Canucks game back home.

I was most looking forward to Football Sunday, however. I had so much fun cheering on the Arizona Cardinals as they beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Phoenix is such a reasonable flight from Vancouver (both time- and cost-wise), my fiance and I both can't wait to go back again. It was especially nice to get some respite from the rain... gotta get that vitamin D!

October 23, 2017

Sweater Dress-ing for Fall

Sorry for yet another absence... I was having far too much fun on vacation in sunny Arizona (a few pics are on my Instagram and I'll have a full recap up soon). As you can imagine, it was quite a shock returning home to rainy Vancouver. Thankfully I do love Fall outfits, especially a good sweater dress like this one), and wanted to add another into the rotation this season. The navy is a classic colour for pairing with neutrals, and I'm also loving the mini cable knit detailing and flared skirt.

Dress: TWIK (Simons) (c/o Chick Advisor) / Tote Bag: Madewell (here)
Socks: Wilfred (Aritzia) / Boots: Rachel Comey (different colour)

October 6, 2017

The Body Shop Amazonian Saviour Multi-Purpose Balm

This summer, The Body Shop launched their innovative Amazonian Saviour Multi-Purpose Balm inspired by communities in the Amazonian Rainforest that have relied on natural oils for centuries to care for wounded and tattooed skin. The product is intended to revive the appearance of tattoos, nourish severely dry skin, and improve the appearance of skin marks.

100% vegetarian, the balm is made with only 9 ingredients: Community Trade Organic Babassu Oil, Organic Andiroba Oil, Candeia Tree's Bisabolol, Sunflower Seed Oil, Community Trade Beeswax, Sunflower Wax, Cera Bellina Wax, Vitamin E, and Citric Acid from Citrus. In the pot, it has a hard waxy texture with no discernible fragrance (it honestly just smells like wax).

I don't have any tattoos so I first decided to test out its efficacy on my fiance. We both noticed that his tattoo looked a little more vibrant after application although I'm not sure if the balm acts more as a protectant for fresh tattoos (his is at least 5 years old and not in an area that's sun-exposed). I, on the other hand, have been using the product on dry areas like like my knees and elbows and it's really helped keep them moisturized. I will definitely be keeping this in my bag for winter time!

At only $15 CAD, I'd say the Amazonian Saviour Multi-Purpose Balm is a real steal. You use such little product each time that it will last for ages.

Find it online or in-stores.

October 3, 2017

My Fall Picks from Essie Gel Couture: Closing Night and Twill Seeker

As much as I love gel nail polish (the shine! how long it lasts!), I'm the type of person who gets sick of colours really quickly and having to wait around for my mani to grow out or take on the ordeal of soaking and orange stick-ing my polish off is just not my idea of a good time. Thankfully, many brands have been releasing their own versions of gel-like polish which lasts longer than regular polish, doesn't require a heat lamp, and can be removed with nail polish remover. Essie Gel Couture is one such line.

I was actually introduced to Essie Gel Couture last summer when it first debuted and was really impressed with the shine and wear time (it's advertised to last 14 days although with these types of polishes I typically switch it up around 7 days). I can definitely get away with doing my nails less than normal with minimal tip wear.

What I also like about the line is that it's only a 2-step process with no base coat required. Just do 2 coats of colour and add 1 coat of the special top coat.

Unlike regular Essie polishes, the Gel Couture bottles are twisted glass and feature a thicker brush (similar to OPI's wide brush). The brush is also twisted, as you can see in the picture above, although I believe this is more aesthetic since it doesn't seem to have any effect on the brush itself or how it's used.

Nail Polish Canada, my favourite online store to buy nail polish from, kindly offered to send over a couple new shades for me to add to my collection. With such a huge shade range it was hard to pick but I opted for two that I think are just perfect for Fall: Closing Night and Twill Seeker.

Closing Night is a cool blue-grey packed with shimmer. It's really pretty and makes for a unique neutral despite not being a pink or beige.

Twill Seeker was a hard one to photograph; although it's essentially a dusty grey plum colour, it features a shimmery green base. Essie describes it as an "enchanting pewter with sage luster".

Find a huge range of Essie Gel Couture online at Nail Polish Canada.

September 28, 2017

AERIN Tuberose Le Jour

For those of you who aren't familiar with AERIN, it is the namesake luxury beauty and lifestyle brand of Estée Lauder's granddaughter, Aerin Lauder. With a particular focus on fragrance, every season she releases something new and this Fall, it's the Tuberose Collection.

The collection features two scents inspired by the Tuberose flower -- one for day (Tuberose Le Jour) and one for night (Tuberose Le Soir). The idea behind this pairing is that you wouldn't want to wear the same fragrance for work as you would for play, but you can instead layer on something new to bring greater depth to what you're already wearing. AERIN's classic perfume packaging has also been updated with Le Jour in a pale pink glass and Le Soir in a darker rose. The result is super pretty and feminine.

I was gifted a bottle of Tuberose Le Jour at a recent media event and have been using it a lot since then. Admittedly, however, it did take me a little while to warm up to the scent because it's very different from anything else I own. With a base of white Tuberose, it's layered with Neroli, Orange Flower, Jasmine, Cashmeran, and Cedarwood. The result is a woody floral musk that almost has a bit of a "salty" undertone if that makes any sense. Overall, I really like it for daytime because it's unique but not overpowering.

At $215 for 1.7 mL, it is quite expensive (although in line with the pricing of other high-end fragrances). Nonetheless, it would make a great gift or splurge... even better if you bought both Le Jour and Le Soir!

September 25, 2017

All About The Bows

I haven't done a ton of Fall shopping this year but when I saw this dress, it went straight into my online shopping cart. I mean, I really couldn't say "no"... I love bows (evidence here, here, and here). Naturally, I also had to keep on theme by pairing it with this bag.

Dress: re:named (here) / Boots: Steve Madden (here and here) / Bag: Kate Spade

September 19, 2017

The Body Shop Tea Tree Anti-Imperfection Night Mask

Last Fall I talked about The Body Shop's (then new) line of Expert Facial Masks. This year, they've added a few new ones to the mix, including a recent skincare obsession: the Tea Tree Anti-Imperfection Night Mask.

The Body Shop's Tea Tree Oil line has always been one of my favourites; their blemish stick was a go-to of mine back in middle school and high school. Plus, I love the scent -- it's one I never get sick of.

The texture of the Tea Tree Mask is hard to describe...  I would liken it to Jello because when you poke your finger into the product it kind of bounces back. The scent isn't overwhelming and once applied on your face, it feel cooling and refreshing (for an extra cooling sensation, you can put the mask in the fridge).

This new mask is meant to be used last in your skincare routine and worn overnight while you sleep. It works its magic by reducing imperfections and controlling excess oil. With continued nightly use, it also reduces the look of associated concerns such as pores, blackheads and blemish marks.  You know when you're having a bad breakout? This is the product you'll want to turn to. Not only that, it's 100% vegan, formulated without alcohol, non-comedogenic and won't stain your pillows!

Check it out for $21 CAD online or in-stores.

September 16, 2017

Smashbox Photo Finish Primerizer

Last month, I had the great fortune of attending a fun yacht party (#dropitlikeitsyacht) hosted by Smashbox in celebration of its new Photo Finish Primerizer and was gifted one to take home and try for myself.

Harkening back to to the true early days of this blog with these posts from 2010, 2012, and 2013, you'll see that I've been a longtime user of the iconic Smashbox Photo Finish Primer. I love the way it smoothes pores and creates an overall flawless base for any foundation.

The new Primerizer adds something different to the Photo Finish line. While I personally love a matte look, many people really love having dewy/glowy skin since it tends to look more youthful and fresh. This product is made with Hyaluronic Acid and Niacinamide and injects your skin with intense hydration to prep your skin for foundation. And, of course, you can skip moisturizer since this is a primer + moisturizer in one!

At $42 CAD for 30 mL bottle, Primerizer does seem a bit pricey but you only need 1-2 pumps for full coverage and a little does go a long way. The product has a milky, slightly tacky texture but once you rub it into the skin, it's dries fairly quickly and isn't sticky to touch. My skin feels very plump and hydrated afterwards, and is perfectly prepped for locking in my makeup.

With colder weather coming up, I would definitely recommend this for your seasonal product switch-up, especially if your skin is on the dry side.

August 15, 2017

Flower Power (& I'm engaged!)

Oh hey guys... remember me? Summer is always busy but I feel like this one has been particularly so. In between numerous weddings and wedding-related activities, concerts (The Offspring/Sublime, I Love The 90s featuring TLC, Lady Gaga, and Metallica), and many weekends away either at the cabin or on mini trips, I just haven't had any free time at all.

Plus, something kind of major happened. I got engaged!! Just as things were finally slowing down, looks like I'll have to start wedding planning soon... good thing I'm looking forward to it :)

Dress: The Latest Scoop / Sandals: Stuart Weitzman (here)
Bag: Monserat De Lucca / Sunglasses: Polette (c/o)

July 13, 2017

Sunglasses Season

Let's talk sunglasses for a quick second. As I've mentioned before, since my PRK laser eye surgery, my sunglasses collection has grown exponentially. I just can't get enough of them! So what's a girl to do when she's got a new accessory "habit" but wants to save some cash? Turn to looking for glasses online, of course.

Optically Canada features a wide range of affordable men's and women's glasses, designer glasses, sunglasses, a reglazing service... basically everything you could want in an e-optical. The company graciously offered to send me a pair to try out so I selected some OPIUM Eyewear tortoiseshell sunnies. All of Optically's frames are offered as prescription sunglasses (included in the price) although I opted for non-prescription for obvious reasons.

Tanktop: Babaton (Aritzia) / Jacket: Talula (Aritzia) / Pants: Talula (Aritzia)
Shoes: Camper / Sunglasses: OPIUM Eyewear (c/o Optically)
Necklace: Charles & Grace (c/o)

My sunglasses arrived in a hard case with two microfibre cleaning cloths, which I appreciated since I hate smudges. I was also pretty impressed with the quality -- especially for the price (and even more so when you consider the cost of prescription lenses at brick & mortar stores). With their sunglasses, you have the option of customizing the tint as well. I've been wearing a lot of mirrored sunglasses these days so the fact that you can see my eyes through the smoked lenses is kind of a fun feature.

The only issues I encountered with my order had to do with shipping. The sunglasses somehow got returned to the warehouse without any attempts at delivery. This resulted in some run-around with the sunglasses needing to be shipped back to me again. Their customer service thankfully took care of the issues but if you're in a hurry for your glasses then that's something to keep in mind. However, hopefully what happened to me is not the norm.

If you don't mind a potential wait for shipping and don't require super high index lenses (1.56 comes standard on the site along with free coatings), you can really get some great deals on eyewear with Optically. Plus, their selection is constantly changing... it seems they get limited stock of certain frames so there's always something new to pick out. Definitely fun for an eyewear fanatic ;)

July 6, 2017

Cartier Tank Solo Women's Watch

Other than a few fashion watches, which I have typically treated more as accessories than time keepers, I have not worn a watch in years (we're talking early high school). However, relying on an iPhone to tell the time, which is what I've been doing, can sometimes be annoying and even inappropriate depending on the situation (meetings, court hearings, and other events where you shouldn't be seen "playing" on your phone).

As I've gotten older, I have become increasingly interested in luxury watches. This is a world that's pretty foreign to me, unlike designer bags and shoes, and it turns out watch collectors can be serious fanatics. I still don't really understand all the intricacies of luxury watches but I knew I was looking for something that had the quality while remaining fashionable yet versatile. For me, this ended up being the Cartier Tank Solo Watch.

The Tank Solo Watch comes in two sizes; I opted for the smaller size since I have small wrists and I think it's perfect for me and my lifestyle.  It's a simple, classic design which won't go out of style.

I also like how the rectangular face makes it look a bit like a cuff... this also makes it great for stacking with other bracelets since it's not too large. Below, I'm wearing it with my Pandora bracelet and my Louis Vuitton LV & Me "A" bracelet.

To be honest, I was initially concerned that I wouldn't like wearing a watch but putting it on has quickly become part of my morning routine. I like that it's super light and feels comfortable, plus checking the time on my watch has now become second nature. It's nice to just look at my wrist instead of fumbling around in my bag for my phone. I guess you could say I'm officially a wrist watch convert!

June 29, 2017

CLEAN Ultimate Beach Day

Hands up if you love the smell of summer and want to smell like it all year round! *raises hands* This girl right here is obsessed with beachy scents (mark. Saint Barts Soleil is one of my absolute favourites) so I was obviously very excited to get my hands on CLEAN Ultimate Beach Day at a media event a few months ago.

I've posted about CLEAN before (here and here) and no doubt the company continues to impress with its simple and refined fragrances that can be layered to create a unique-to-you scent. This latest offering comes housed in CLEAN's standard rectangular bottle but features a subtle glittery ombre glass.

From (where it retails for $74 CAD):
"Inspired by a carefree day at the beach, this refreshing fragrance offers a citrus floral escape. The scent opens with summery notes of mandarin orange, Italian bergamot, lemon, and Kaffir lime. The heart mellows into a bouquet of white rose, tuberose, soft neroli, jasmine, African orange blossom, and lavender. Crisp seaside notes add subtle bite to balance the softness of the flowers. The dry down embraces with notes of amber, musk, and sun-soaked sand."

It's hard to describe this perfume but to me it smells like the perfect blend of sunscreen, sand, and salt water... you know, basically like the ultimate beach day (no kidding, haha). It's a little powdery but not too much and I already know I'm going to be wearing this a ton as temperatures rise and the sun continues to shine.

June 26, 2017

Wedding Guest-ing

Wedding season officially kicked off for me this past weekend (I have 4 weddings to attend this summer) which finally meant an occasion to wear my new Diane Von Furstenberg Zarita Dress. I love my wrap dress and this is yet another classic DVF design. It comes in many different colours (although I'm partial to black, it making up a large portion of my wardrobe) and is a very flattering fit on. Definitely a great party dress!

Dress: Diane Von Furstenberg (on sale) / Shoes: Prada / Bag: Chanel
Bracelet: Pandora / Sunglasses: Quay Australia (here)

June 16, 2017

PRK Laser Eye Surgery Recovery (6 Month Update)

I promised an update to my PRK laser eye surgery experience (check out my post-surgery blog here) and I wanted to make sure I actually wrote one since I remember being frustrated at the lack of other peoples' updates when I was feverishly researching any and all things PRK last year. Honestly, I think the reason they don't update is because it becomes so easy to forget life pre-surgery.

In my case, it has now been 6 months since I had PRK. I wake up and I can see everything perfectly, whereas before I couldn't even read the time on my bedside clock which was less than a foot away from my head. The feeling of helpless blurriness is totally gone and being free from contacts/glasses has been incredible, especially now that it's summer. I was never much of a sunglasses girl even when I wore contacts but since I do need to protect my eyes, I've become quite religious about wearing them. As you can imagine, my sunglasses collection has basically tripled in size!

I'm especially loving my Quay Australia sunnies (here and here)

When I left off in my 1 month update, my eyes were not settled yet. Things were still blurry, it was hard to use the computer, and my eyes felt very dry. The blurriness continued for a few more months. I followed my eye drop regimen according to the 9 week tapering schedule set by Pacific Laser Eye Centre. I also continued taking Vitamin C and Omega 3 capsules, along with Restatis (a prescription eye drop for dry eyes) and preservative-free eye drops when my eyes felt dry.

I would say somewhere around 4 months post-surgery is when my blurriness/dryness issues seemed to level out. While I still use preservative-free eye drops at work, I find I don't really need them at other times when I'm not staring at a computer all day. I was already used to liberal eye drop use thanks to my dry eye syndrome, so continued use of eye drops hasn't been a bother for me. I just had my 6 month checkup with my eye doctor and she tells me everything has healed perfectly. In fact, it apparently looks like I never even had surgery! I am seeing 20/20 in both eyes with very slight astigmatism (+0.25) which I'm told is done intentionally to account for regression over time.

If you are in the Vancouver area (or planning on travelling to the area) and thinking about laser eye surgery, I cannot recommend Dr. David Lin at Pacific Laser Eye Centre enough. I mentioned my reasons for choosing him in my previous post and I stand by those reasons. Even though I had to wait many years to finally be eligible for PRK due to my numerous eye problems, I'm so grateful it eventually worked out and that it was such a huge success!

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