Thursday, June 28, 2012

10 Beauty Commandments Summer 2012

1. Thou shalt exercise 5 days a week.
2. Thou shalt not consume too much alcohol.
3. Thou shalt replenish body with plenty of water, fresh squeezed juice and green tea.
4. Thou shalt take natural vitamins and supplements.
5. Thou shalt not over purchase unnecessary makeup items.
6. Thou shalt not purchase any more nail polish until September.
7. Thou shalt maintain good friendships and relationships.
8. Thou shalt soak up the sun and enjoy the beautiful weather.
9. Thou shalt read books and blog more frequently.
10. Thou shalt smile and not take life too seriously :)

What are your 10 beauty commandments this Summer? Power to the sista who actually sticks to her goals!

xox- Alma

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Foundation Mixology for Summer

I'm not sure about anyone else, but I really love to customize my foundation. For one, it's really tough to get the perfect colour match. For instance, my NARS foundation is a bit orange, Chanel Vitalumiere is too beige, and Laura Mercier is too pink. Secondly, I never know what texture and coverage my skin is looking for on any given day. Hence why I like to mix foundations!

In the Summer wearing foundation is just way too heavy. I hate the feeling of the sun melting your face off and clogging your pores. But I also hate to be barefaced... The perfect solution for me was to mix my SPF moisturizer with a dollop of Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer and Chanel Vitalumiere. I still get a wee bit of coverage but it feels like nothing on my face. Love it. At night time I mix my NARS foundation with Laura Mercier to get a better colour match, but also lighten the consistency. I just want my skin to breathe in the hot weather.

All I do is mix the different foundations/moisturizer together and then apply it with a stippling brush. I then set my face with a mix MAC Mineralize Skin Finish in Medium Plus and Medium Deep. I like the extra bit of coverage I get with these powders. And they never make your skin look dry.

Et Voila. So simple. 

I've also been wearing MAC Gingerly blush almost every day. If not I am wearing MAC's Peaches. I love those 2 blushes for summer. I've been bronzing my skin with the Mineralized Skin Finish Natural in Medium Deep, and keeping the eyes pretty neutral with matte browns and shimmery champagne eye shadows. On my lips today is MAC lipstick in Myth and Revlon ColorBurst lipstick in Coral. 

Hope you like the look! I would definitely recommend mixing foundations. It's the easiest way to achieve the perfect base for your skin.

xoxo- Alma

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

French Exfoliating Skin Care I've Been Using

I have recently delved into the realm of French skin care products. I pushed aside the usual all natural cleansers and creams and replaced them with more advanced high tech formulations. I used to dabble here and there with Avene and La Roche Posay products, they have a great range of exfoliating creams if you are wanting to treat congested skin. Over the last several months I have incorporated these 4 new exfoliating, acne treating products into my regime and here's what I think:

1. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel. The La Roche-Posay Effaclar range is designed for oily sensitive skin.  I've been using this cleanser a couple times a week for decongesting, as you would use a clarifying shampoo to rid your hair of buildup and extra grease. It is a little bit drying if I use it too often, and it isn't the best at removing makeup, but overall it's not a bad cleanser in regards to clarifying your skin.  I probably shouldn't use cleansers designed for oily skin when I have combination/ dry skin and maybe that's why I'm not fully sold on this one. I might not repurchase this, but I'm happy to use the rest up.

2. La Roche-Posay Effaclar K Renovating Care for Oily Skin. When I first purchased this product I thought it was a concentrated spot treatment, but in fact it is more of a mattifying primer. It contains LHA (a derivative of salicylic acid which exfoliates your skin on a deeper level) and retinol Linoleate which work in conjunction to refine your pores and smoothen your skin. I use this on my t-zone before I put on tinted moisturizer and it works quite nicely. My skin is less oily and less congested by the end of the day. I prefer this over my Laura Mercier primer :) 

3. Avene Cleanance Anti-Shine Purifying Toner.  In general I don't really believe in toners. I feel like they don't really benefit your skin as much as they add extra chemicals and unnecessary product. I tend to use toner if I have one laying around or I received a bottle in a value pack, like this one. The Avene Cleanance toner is supposed to purify and tighten your pores with its ingredients, especially salicylic acid. I do like that this toner is more moisturizing than others, which makes it a nice alternative to moisturizing every nigh in the Summer. For a toner I am quite impressed with it, but it is definitely a treat, and not an essential step in my nightly skin care routine. 

4. Avene Cleanance Anti-Shine Regulating Lotion. Every once in a while my skin gets really congested. I get little white heads, black heads, and overall a lackluster appearance. A remedy for this problem is to use an exfoliant (duh). However, if you have really dry sensitive skin like me then an exfoliating scrub, or even most chemical exfoliators are way too irritating and drying. This Avene lotion is the first product to contain AHAs and BHAs and be moisturizing at the same time. It still slightly burns my skin, but it is the best I have tried to date. I like to use this all around my nose and the center of my forehead, in the places I tend to break out. I really like it compared to all other exfoliating creams I've used. I would, and have already repurchased this. 

So there are my mini reviews on the latest editions to my skin care routine. What do you guys use to combat breakouts? I would love to hear any recommendations because I'm always on the hunt for the most nourishing, effective products that don't break the bank.

xox- Alma

Rainy Day Attire...

Um, so I know that technically it is summer, but it feels more like early Spring in Vancouver. It has been rainy and cold all week. Thank god for my brand new cute as hell rain coat I found on sale at Abercrombie a couple weeks ago! I'm so excited about this jacket that now I look forward to gloomy rainy days...  I just like to view the cup half full ;)

I love the vibrant yellow colour, and the stiff rubber material makes me feel like I'm a firefighter. Or Paddington Bear. Lol. A couple days ago it was drizzling out so I took the opportunity to showcase my new rainy day attire and snapped a few pics. I hope you like!

Since it was only drizzling out I wore my Clark's Desert Boots, a great alternative to rain boots. I only wear rain boots if it's really pouring otherwise I refuse to wear rain boots. Rain jackets, on the other hand, are totally bomb!

What do you ladies wear to combat the rain?

xox- Alma

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Guilty Pleasures...

avene eau thermale thermal spring water review

Yep, I would definitely say that Avene Eau Thermale is the most expensive water I'll ever 20$ a bottle. And to think I feel guilty after buying Dasani!

But I have to admit, this product is amazing. This is going to be an essential while touring NYC , apparently there's record breaking heat right now...yikes! I use it to refresh my face after long hours of traveling, or if I've been outside in the sun all day. It just feels so cooling and soothing. Ah, I'm such a sucker for facial mists. Sometimes plain simple water is all your skin really wants instead of oils and scented additives, especially in the scorching sun. I still love my Lush's Tea Tree Water, and Caudalie Beauty Elixer but I really love this too.

What are your guilty pleasures?



Saturday, June 16, 2012

New Pedi...

Finally! I got a well deserved pedicure. In the Summer I love to wear OPI Cajun Shrimp on my toes, and that's what I have on now.

opi cajun shrimp nail polish bright red orange toes pedicure

What's on your toes this Summer?


Friday, June 15, 2012

Some Vintage Jewelry

 I was sorting through all my jewelry the other day and I found some old gems that I completely forgot about. Don't you love rediscovering items in your stash? 

Anyway, everything I'm wearing are vintage pieces from the Philippines. My Grandmother used to wear the pearl ring 50 years ago, the other diamond ring is from my Aunt as well as the diamond bracelet. I love that bracelet so much, she gave it to me when I visited the Philippines way back in high school. The gold chain bracelet is one my mom used to wear a long time ago...and I "borrowed" it from her last week ;)

vintage jewelry philippines ring bracelet

I really love wearing jewelry with some sentimental value or history to it. It just brightens my day every time I look down at my hands, as cheesy as it sounds.

...16 more nights until NYC and counting!

What are some of your favourite pieces of jewelry?


Monday, June 11, 2012

Extensive Wishlisting

So it's only been 11 days since my beauty ban but I have already racked up quite the tab in products I am lusting over. I want. I will get. Patience is a virtue :(

Here's a preview of my extensive list:

Fresh Eau de Parfum in Cannabis Santal. So amazing. How did I not know about this before?
Kiehl's Acai Damage-Repairing Serum
Kiehl's Creme de Corps Soy Milk and Honey Whipped Body Butter
Burberry Blush in Tangerine
Burberry Eyeshadow in Pale Barley
Chanel Natural Finish Loose Powder
NARS Blush in Exhibit A
MAC Lipstick in Vegas Volt
MAC Zoom Lash Mascara
Anastasia Tinted Brow Gel in Espresso 
Revlon Lipgloss in Peach Petal
YSL Rouge Volupte #30 Fauborg Peach

What products are you ladies lusting over for right now?



Tuesday, June 5, 2012

One Last Little Hurrah

I bought these items last week as a little treat before I tuck away my credit card for a month. 

First up, Caudalie Beauty Elixer. Refreshing facial mists are one of my favourite luxury beauty items during the Summer. I use them to refresh my face if I've been working all day, or even if I'm just out and about and feel icky and sweaty. There's a misconception that these toners will set your makeup and they definitely do NOT. They just feel great on your skin, and add some nutrients when you feel like you might start to break out half way through the day from the sun melting your makeup.  

 caudalie beauty elixer facial mist

I heard some mixed reviews about this particular toner, especially regarding its smell. As I perused Sephora for one last time I came across the elixir and quite enjoyed the scent. Of course I went ahead and purchased the 100 mL bottle at 18$. A bit pricey but I've been using this all week and I'm so happy with it! Dare I say it rivals my beloved Lush's Tea Tree Water. I love everything from it's luxurious frosted glass packaging to the way the nozzle finely mists your face (I hate when nozzles quirt rain drop sizes). It contains grape seed extract, rose, organic balm mint, and rosemary, and smells like tea tree oil and sweet mint. It's the perfect size to tote around in your purse. If you love Lush's Tea Tree Water, give this a try. I'm sure you'll love it.

Next up is American Apparel Nail Color in Neon Orange. I got suckered in by the 50% off discount so the bottle ended up being 4$. It is being discontinued so if you like the colour hustle on down to American Apparel before they're sold out! It's a neon orange colour, looks great on tan skin in the summer. What more can I say?

 american apparel neon orange nail polish bright

Anyways, that's it for purchases for the month. Wish me luck on my beauty ban! Oh why, do I subject myself to such torture?


Daily Dosage of Decor Inspiration

You know the mornings where you can't get out of bed because you've lost yourself in the deep dark depths of the cyberspace? Aka I've wasted another 2 hours of my morning surfing the net. Just when I promised myself to be more active in the real world. But it's my day off!

Anyway, I was in Chapters the other day reading Vogue Living: Gardens Houses People and I came across the residence of Consuelo Castiglioni, designer of Marni. I die. It's the perfect bohemian luxe Spanish getaway. I especially love the kitchen's juxtaposition between modern materials and rustic comfort style decor.

marni consuelo castiglioni residence decor bohemian

marni consuelo castiglioni residence decor bohemian

marni consuelo castiglioni residence decor bohemian

I also saw this picture in the Christian Dior Cruise 2012 campaign. My ideal vanity. And the hunt continues for a bedroom renovation...

dior cruise campaign 2012 vanity decor


Monday, June 4, 2012

June Makeup Ban

With my highly anticipated trip to NYC only a month away, I have decided to restrain myself from any makeup related purchases for the month of June. Quite the persevering task, I know!

To distract my mind from the temptations of shopping, I have also decided to take the time to explore my beautiful city of Vancouver. Instead of trolling the internet for the next beauty purchase or lurking around the mall, I'm going to be like a normal Vancouverite and do yoga, or go on a hike, lol. Maybe I'll even pack a picnic in Stanley Park, and go to the Aquarium. I'll become a tourist of my own city. Be one with the community... well that's the idea anyway.

To kick things off, my boyfriend and I decided to take a lovely walk across the Granville Street Bridge and go to the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Insert picture of me awkwardly standing by the side of the building.

Overall, it was a fun experience. I've been to many museums before, but never an Art Gallery. There was a huge exhibition about Henri Matisse and these sisters who collected his artwork. I found that interesting, and educational. There were other minimalist art/ photography installations that I don't really understand...

I'll stop rambling now. Makeup Ban June 2012. Who's with me?!



Friday, June 1, 2012

Review: Sally Hershberger Style Primer

sally hershberger style primer review
Hi all. I've been using this new product that I really love so I thought I'd give my 2 cents on it. I've been using it pretty regularly if I want to wear my hair down. 

First off, the concept of a "style primer" is interesting... I would say it is closest to a mousse but the texture is more bubbly and less whipped than most mousses in the aerosol cans. I use small dollops like the one below (which is 2-3 pumps) until I'm happy with the look. And yeah, basically all I do is scrunch. Super easy!

sally hershberger style primer before and after picture application review

The finished result is subtle, but it texturizes my hair, adding weight and also separates the curls into beachy waves. I like the "wet" look I get too. If you have voluminous, unruly hair this product might work for you! I wouldn't recommend this at all for women with fine hair as within a couple hours I lose a lot of volume at my roots. 

- Smells absolutely amazing. Like coconuts and summer. 
- Easy to use and creates a 2 minute hair style.
- Gives wavy hair good texture for a tousled, bed head look. 
- Non sticky or greasy, doesn't dry out or damage my hair. If anything it is slightly hydrating.
- Affordable drug store find... at around 12$ I think!

- Eventually flattens any volume at your roots. This would be more of a concern if you have thin hair, or naturally straight hair. 
- Not very long lasting.
- Makes hair look wet, I like that but it might not be for everyone.

Overall I am very pleased with my new hair styling product. I would definitely repurchase this again, even for the smell alone! I'm a happy lady :)