April 04, 2012

Have you met wish.list boutique yet?

Yesterday I had the pleasure to venture over to a little boutique in Kitsilano, wish.list. Kathy and Alisa are the mother and daughter who own the fabulous store right on Broadway and MacDonald - a busy little area just a few blocks off of 4th Avenue here in Vancouver. After my first visit, I was hooked! They have just about everything a girl could ask for. Not only that, but they were ever so kind to contribute a little something extra my last giveaway. I am very excited to be doing a full "Some Secrets Are Worth Sharing" feature on them, but wanted to share some of the shots I grabbed during my visit!

 Recognize this shade of pink?

 Diamonds are a girl's best friend.

 Cute vintage frames around the store.

Cards for every kind of birthday - for every kind of girl.

 One of the many brands carried in wish.list

Petite gifts... the best kind.

January 11, 2012

Q & A with Trish Lucarino

Back in November I had the pleasure to meet with Trish Lucarino, the heart and soul of Principessa Beauty. Trish was ever so kind to invite me to the Principessa Headquarters and show me what it really means to be pink. The office is absolutely adorable and makes any girl feel right at home and interestingly enough, her products do the exact same thing - they make any girl feel like a girl with noooo shame!

Her products consist of what she loves to call "The Three Ps" and it couldn't be more perfect. The Three Ps essentially mean the top three priorities of any beauty product - which sadly not all beauty products meet:
- Product
- Perfume
- Performance

I discovered the Dry Shampoo, Notte Breeze, a little while ago and love it. It's works perfectly, smells great, and doesn't leave your hair feeling like it's full of product. Another favourite is the lipgloss - Pleasantly Pafutto in Kitten Pink. I've been waiting for a good time to post this Q & A and I think with spring around the corner and hearing about the various travel plans people have and upcoming weddings, this is the perfect time! Principessa is full of goodies for your hair, skin, makeup, perfect glosses... everything. Lucky for us, Principessa is available at BeautyMark here in Vancouver and they also ship internationally for those who love the idea of pink and pretty. So, without anymore delay, I hope you enjoy the Q & A (that wasn't supposed to rhyme in the slightest).

How did Principessa start?
Trish: I was always a huge beauty product junkie. I loved spas too and wanted to recreate that experience at home. I was always in search of the "perfect" product too and felt certain that I could create them. I had quite a bit of experience and knowledge of the industry as I had worked in it for about 8 years at the retail level. At the time there was nothing pink and feminine on the market at all. All the packaging was very non gender specific or if there was anything pretty is was typically novelty products and not high end quality. I was also super picky about fragrances and didn't really love anything out there. I was looking for clean, fresh and pretty and I just couldn't find it? My hubby and I went to a trade show in Italy to start the process and so it began...

What has been your biggest accomplishment with the brand?
Trish: So many but one of my faves is getting invited to be in the goody bags for the Golden Globes our first week in business. They saw us at a trade show in New York and when they contacted us I thought it was a joke at first :) We even received an email afterwards from Teri Hatcher saying she loved the products. So sweet!

How would you describe Principessa's "girl" in 3 words?
Trish: Feminine, fun and fabulous!!! Oh and pink but that makes four?

What are your most popular products and why?
Trish: Lip Glosses because they completely rock! Dry Shampoos because they are a life saver, literally and Lip Balms because they are honestly the best lip balms ever.  

What should every girl invest in when it comes to Principessa products?
Trish: Duh, everything of course!! LOL

What is your biggest pet peeve when it comes to other beauty products?
Trish: Pet peeve? Beauty Products? I can't think of anything really except maybe charging ridiculous prices for stuff when I know how much things cost? Really I guess though it's the marketing of the product that you are paying for.

What has been your favourite project so far with the brand?
Trish: My favorite part is creating. That is the most fun and travelling too. We have been able to travel all over the place because of Principessa and I'm not sure I would have gone to Hong Kong and China were it not for Principessa. Now Asia is mine and my hubby's favorite destination. Going to the Golden Globe and Emmy events was fun too. We went back 3 times and get invited every year but it's just not feasible to do it every time as it costs so much and you have to give all the product for free. 

 Principessa HQ

What advise do you have for anyone considering starting their own beauty line?
Trish: Honestly, wait until the economy gets better :) Seriously, I don't think it would be a great time to launch a brand right now. Having said that I think you have to be willing to put in twice the amount of work that you anticipate and twice the amount of money too! Also, innovation is key right now in order to differentiate yourself from the rest of the products and brands out there.  

What can we expect to see over the next while form Principessa?
Trish: Well we just completed a packaging change that I'm so excited about and I love. We have an amazing graphic designer who I'm so thankful for! She's so talented and has been finally able to implement exactly what I wanted. Very grateful to have her on board as it's not easy to find someone who "gets" your vision and can bring it to fruition. We have lots of new things in store but I can't share just yet...  

What is your favourite Vancouver secret?
Trish: Our FAVORITE Sushi place in the world is Koko on Hastings Street. Their jumbo dynamite roll is to die for and their spicy sauce is completely addicting!!

And there it is! I've included the photos of some of my favourite products and best sellers! Principessa products are perfect for any girly event - I'm thinking bridesmaid gifts - and birthdays! The best part is, no matter what products you choose, it won't damage your hair, dry out your skin or lips. 

You can find Trish and Principessa on Twitter, Facebook, and of course, their website

December 15, 2011

Q & A with BeautyMark December Edition

It's becoming fairly obvious that I'm slightly obsessed with BeautyMark and if you haven't noticed, take a look here, here, and here. To add to my obsession, I have a new Q&A from the team once again! The answers are fantastic (as always) and there are some great ideas for gifts as well! Enjoy! xo 

BeautyMark recently moved to the new location! How is the new spot working out?!
BeautyMark: We love the new spot. It's twice the size so we have much more room for clothing, accessories, and services! Gives us more room for creative ideas too, if you had ever been to our old location you'd know how space was definitely an issue. It was time for our move and we couldn't be happier.
 What are some of your top products this winter?
BeautyMark: Top products this winter...
1. Glam Glow Mask: amazing volcanic mud mask that instantly brightens and clarifies the skin.
2. Deborah Lippman - Addicted to Speed: Best top coat ever, dries instantly
3. Geisha Ink: Liquid liner for everyone. Create a thin natural look to a thick cat line, waterproof, sweat proof!
4. Ilia Lip Care: Natural lip care with 6 great colours, very hydrating like a lip balm with the colour of a light lipstick. 

Are there any big 'no-nos' this winter?
BeautyMark: Now that summer is over, make sure you don't have a heavy hand with your bronzer! Try a matte bronzer without sparkle, like Cargo's Matte Medium. It'll warm your complexion without looking to fake.

Top blog reads by the BeautyMark team?
BeautyMark: We are avid readers of imtheitgirl.com, sololisa.com, and of course our blog, www.beautymark.ca/blog!

Trends this winter?
BeautyMark: Wearing colour! Whether it's in your jewelry, a bright bold lipstick or on your nails, the brighter the better.
 What are 5 mandatory items every girl should have in her purse?
BeautyMark: 1. Poo Pouri: Spritz in the bowl before you go and no one else will ever know.
2. Rosebud Salve: All purpose salve for everything from lips, cuticles, cuts, rashes, the works!
3. Fashion Tape: Perfect for any fashion emergency! Tape any clothing to where you want it to stay.
4. Oribe's Travel Size Dry Texturizing Spray: The best hair product, hold like a hairspray, gives instant volume and takes away any sign of excess oil.
5. Stila's Convertable Colour: A cream blush and lip tint. Love this for a quick pop of colour on the cheek, non-greasy and lasts all day.

Now that winter is here, the cool, crisp weather can really dry out sensitive skin. Suggestions?
BeautyMark: Linacare is our number one sensitive skin moisturizer and a staff favourite. It's a local brand and by far a best seller! It's a day cream, night cream, and eye cream all in one and perfect for very sensitive skin.

Best part about being part of the BeautyMark team?
BeautyMark: We've all been working together for so long, it is more like a family than a work environment so that is definitely a great thing. And of course, getting to try all the newest products from each line!

From the minute a customer comes in, what's the experience at BeautyMark?
BeautyMark: We want you to feel inspired when you walk into the store. We're always looking to bring in new and exciting things to Vancouver, something you wouldn't see at a department store. We have a really relaxed attitude as well; if you want to try samples of any product before you decide on them we can make that happen. We want to she our love of products with you.

What is the team's "best kept 'secret'" in Vancouver?
BeautyMark: We have a lovely food stall outside on the corner of Davie and Pacific called "The Loving Hut." They make amazing, fresh food. The best part is they have healthy versions of everything on their menu. You can get the full crispy chicken burger, or you can go for the healthier version - grilled chicken. The guys that run it are so nice too, always a good chat while you are waiting for your food.

Thanks again to BeautyMark for the more than perfect answers! Remember to check out their new location while Christmas shopping! They have the perrrrfect stocking stuffers - including the items listed above! You can also chat with them on Twitter and Facebook! xoxo

December 05, 2011

Some Secrets Are Worth Sharing: LOVE + MARK'D

As the Christmas season approaches nothing is better than receiving a homemade card. I personally love making cards for family and friends, but over the most recent years, I've started to find it a little more difficult to find time annnnd apparently construction paper cutouts are cute until you're about 12... oops. However, the only thing worse than inadequately crafted cards, is when you give the same card to your sister that your aunt picked out for you.

Since I am a huge fan of the holidays, I am very excited about finding original gifts and cards. When I read on Alicia Fashionista that Vancouver's very own Olivia Lovenmark from Style Struck had created her very own line of stationary, I was very excited to say the least. Olivia is the blogger behind the incredibly stylish blog, Style Stuck. When asked how she began her blog, she said "It all started one morning in April, 2009, when I was sitting in Starbucks reading Elle magazine and there was a mention about a blog. At this point I thought blogs were only something the trekkies, or techies, knew about, not fashion people. If they're doing it, I thought, I want to start one too! I was lucky to know a couple of guys who built websites at the time who set mine up for me. I'd say it took me about a year to understand what my brand was about, get my blog in shape and start to attract a following."

What I love about her blog is that she really knows how to incorporate inexpensive brands with more higher end items, while explaining how it fits into her life. Yet, there's a great sense of modesty and poise - a perfect example of a lifestyle fashion blog. So it's easy to see why it's exciting that this talented fashionista decided to pursue her next passion project: LOVE + MARK'D.

So what is it that makes her homemade cards so fabulous? Well, imagine this...

And of course, one of my favourite things ever: Glitter.

I feel like these are the ingredients that really make her cards something special. Each card is designed and crafted by Olivia. I've definitely seen "simple" cards out there, but there's something about hers that lets you know that no two cards are ever alike (what a fabulous way to avoid the giving-the-same-card-fiasco" mentioned above!). Of course, who is better at sharing the details her line and how it became to be better than Olivia herself?

Who is Olivia Lovenmark?
Olivia: I'm 23 and newly an entrepreneur. For the past year following school I worked with a large corporate company and then with a small-size company in social media. It hit me one day that I need to work to build myself a company, not grow somebody else's bank account. Three weeks ago I brought to life a small dream of mine: to sell stationery. My cards are called: LOVE + MARK'D, a play on my last name that was brilliantly thought up by a girl friend over martinis. (Isn't that how all the brilliant ideas come about??) My little furball (cat), and I live together in Vancouver's West End overlooking English Bay in what I would consider a girls' club house: lots of mirrored and sparkly things. And shoes on the wall - they're art. What makes my day? Fresh flowers (white roses!), and a big order of customized cards; I love sending somebody something unique that is personal to them. 

How did you come about creating LOVE + MARK'D?
Olivia: LOVE + MARK'D was born on a train from Paris to Provence. My girl friend that I was traveling with and I spent a lot of time in Paris visiting Papeteries - stationery shops. We would just spend hours in them; they have a far better selection than we do here, and really take pride in their beautiful papers and designs. Less Hallmark, more designer. Just before boarding the train I purchased a pretty yellow notebook and mauve pen for the train. Soon as we left the station I started making notes. The book was rather full by the time we reached Provence, but at the time I still viewed the idea as a bit of a pipe dream. It wasn't until I was back in Vancouver working at a new job that I wasn't particularly enjoying that I realized, now is the time to start my business. And so I did!

So as everyone gets ready to start picking out gifts and cards for their loved ones, be sure to check out the great holiday selection by LOVE + MARK'D! It such a great way to add a little something special this holiday season! You can find Olivia on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and Google+!