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...

Local.
Simple.
Chic.
Thoughtful.
Unique.
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+!

November 15, 2011

Some Secrets Are Worth Sharing: It's to Die For Banana Bread

Before you read anything about this Vancouver secret, please ask yourself the following very important crucial questions:
Do you like banana bread?
Do you like chocolate - the really reallllly good kind?
Do you like a little salt here and there?
Do you like macadamia nuts?
Do all these things sound great together?

If you answered yes to any of these (especially the last one), it means you will most likely love Erin Ireland's Banana Bread. Just take a look at the photo below...

Believe me now?

Although her bread might not be a surprise to some, I am always blown away when someone says they haven't heard of it. Why? Because it really is the world's best - or as Erin says: It's to die for. Don't believe me? Ask the lucky person who got the Vancouver Canucks signed banana bread. Or how about world famous chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten?? No joke.

Canuck signed banana bread

I met Erin over Twitter last fall and was obsessed with her suggestions about food places in Vancouver. I had moved here that summer and had NO idea where to start looking. Turns out that if you send her a Tweet asking "What's a good place for brunch?" she'll answer with a place and why she loves it (you can also see the fabulous go-to list here). The girl knows food without a doubt. After a few months past, I started hearing little rumors around town about her banana bread and how it's full of great (and healthy) ingredients. Over time, her bread was finally being sold at the Commune Cafe - which is how I finally met Erin and, of course, her bread.

Sadly I missed the official launch of the bread, but had the chance to meet her the following day and also delivered some macarons (she actually took the photo for Chanel & Caviar's banner). To say the least, Erin is incredibly kind, thoughtful, and so easy to talk to you would think you've known her forever. Throw in some of her bread and you would not want to leave her side - promise!


The bread is something of what I like to call "a special combination." Something about the salt and chocolate, and the softness that makes this bread amazing - small confession, I never went out of my way for banana bread before I had hers.

Another reason I wanted to feature the bread is because of how Erin has managed to get it into the hands of just about anyone in all kinds of forms! What about in a smoothie? Yup! You can have that too... and boy, is it good! On top of that, for every smoothie sold from The Juice Truck, $1 will be donated to Movember Canada. Smoothie + Banana Bread + Movember... Who knew the three would work so well together?
In addition, Erin entered the contest "Recipe to Riches" not too long ago and had a chance to showcase the famous bread. The contest was for the next President's Choice product and the winner would receive $250,000 and mass distribution of the product. Although she didn't make it to the finals in Toronto, Erin agrees that this maybe wasn't the best way to get her bread out into the world since it doesn't exactly fit the brand. Her ingredients are expensive and the winner would lose all rights to the recipe. "It's definitely more of a 'Whole Foods' or 'Choices Markets' kind of product." she says.

Urban Rush interview about Recipe to Riches

I think the best way to fully understand just how great this bread is, is to read the next 2 questions I asked Erin. She's a pro when it comes to explaining just how good this bread is without just saying "nom nom nom!!"

How did you start and who on earth would think of adding macadamia nuts to banana bread?!
Erin: This whole unplanned whirlwind of banana bread began a year ago when I started giving loaves to friends and coworkers as thank you gifts (baking was pretty much the only option back in the day as a starving broadcaster!). One of the recipients told me they loved it so much, they'd buy it for $100. Similar 'extreme' compliments ensued, which made me wonder if I was onto something special.

Banana bread turned out to be a pretty hot topic online. Social media single-handedly propelled this product into a public stratosphere. Demand for the BB steadily increased, so as a stunt, I decided to hold a bake sale. On a Monday, I posted an order form to my website, planning to take orders for the week. On Tuesday night, I removed the order form from my site. I'd received over 30 orders in the two days and at that stage, didn't quite have the capacity to make so much BB.
Very positive meetings with Whole Foods and Choices Markets had me realize that the opportunity was real and that I had to start a business. 'It's To Die For Foods' was born. Since then, life has never been busier as I prepare the banana bread for retail and increased distribution.

As for the macadamia nuts, I'm a huge believer in the simple principle that fat tastes great! I also consider macadamia nuts to be some of the most delicious things on the planet. Fortunately, my recipe doesn't need much of the -- the BB's calorie and fat content are not bad at all: 160 cals and 8g of fat per serving.

Who loves your bread the most?
Erin: I think I do! You're looking at the worst saleswoman in the world -- and I absolutely hate to push anything on anyone. There's no way I could 'sell' my product unless I truly believed it's amazing. That said, my marketing skills are not traditional -- I simply love having fun with the product and getting it out there in as wild 'n crazy a way as possible. I think people can tell that the growth of ITDF BB is completely natural. Others who love it: my boyfriend (although he hates having it around the house because he can't stop eating it when he starts), my grandma, and my mom. 

Cory Schneider doing an official taste test

So, you can see why I was delighted when she said she would do this feature. If you haven't tried her bread yet (which by the way, she currently makes each loaf herself), you can get your very own at the following places:
Commune Cafe
Ethical Bean Coffee Roastery Cafe (Kootenay St. location)
Milano Coffee Roasters (Gastown)

Upcoming:
The Dirty Apron Delicatessen
Save-on-Meats

If you are looking for something different to bring to those holiday dinners, may I be ever so bold to recommend bringing some It's to Die For Banana Bread? xoxo

November 04, 2011

Q & A with Monika Hibbs

I couldn't be happier to have Monika Hibbs from The Doctor's Closet featured once again (see her "Scribbles" here)! Since the last time she was featured on Chanel & Caviar, she's been a busy bee with her blog and even more so with her ever-so trendy bfrend bracelets (be sure to check out the new site!)

Besides being creative on a daily basis, her content is always fresh, on trend, and inspiring. If you are looking for home decor suggestions, party planning tips, the latest trends or even ways to support our alltime favourite month, Movember, she has it all. Not to mention, she loves fur vests this season as well, so we know I am in the clear!

Listed below are some great questions and answers about what she's been up to and a few things we can look for in the near future! Enjoy! xo

Since your last Q &A with Chanel & Caviar, what's changed with The Doctor's Closet?
Monika: Time has been going by so fast! I don't even know when and what happens. I guess the biggest change has been my bfrend bracelets. It's fun to see something you've created becoming so trendy! 

Bfrend bracelets?! What a genius idea! How did you come about them?
Monika: I was making friendship bracelets at home one day, I was getting a little tried of making the full length, so I decided to cut my time in half and just add some chunky sparkly chain for length. I made a few extras, so I decided to use them as a giveaway on my blog.

When I posted them, I had an overwhelming response with people wanting to order one, two, or even three! I wasn't at all planning to start a business out of them, so I had no idea where to even collect payment. One of my girlfriends suggested I create an Etsy site to make the ordering process super simple and fast! So I did! That night I created an Etsy account and it just took off from there! 

What has been your favourite project with The Doctor's Closet?
Monika: Oh, I can't pick one! There are so many amazing things happening in the city! I'm currently working on some fun things with Violet Hill, Jeweliette and Barefoot Contessa! Keep your eyes pealed!

What can you NEVER leave your house without? Any items that are ALWAYS in your bag?
Monika: Oooh yes of course! Let me grab my bag and see...
1. Sunglasses... I rotate through three at the moment, Chanel, Ray Bans and Marc Jacobs. 
2. My tory Burch mini makeup case with about 12 different shades of lipstick. Always prepared!
3.Emerg items:  Tylenol, Advil, Bandaids, Nail File, Lip Balm, Hand wipes, hand sanitzer, cuticle treatment....
4. Wallet
5. iphone- with TB case
6. Hand Cream- I don't have a fave, I rotate through many.
7. Mints or Gum
8. Tide to GO Pen
9. Keys
10. Leather gloves in the winter! 



What is your favourite trend this fall?
Monika: I adore the fur vest! I'm so excited to see more people rock it this year! It's such a fun trend!

Top daily reads?
Monika: Are you ready for this?? Okay here we go...
EVERY MORNING I pop onto...
Atlantic Pacific
The Glitter Guide
Cupcakes and Cashmere
Made By Girl
Sterling Style
The Glamourai
Chetah is the New Black

Others that I LOVE!
Style Struck, aliciafashionista, Jillan Crago Styling, Her Waise Choice, Urban Walls, Delightful Bitefuls, Belle Epoque, 212 Designs, Miss Melissa, To Vogue or Bust, 9to5Chic, Sparkling Footsteps, Just Dandy, Coco and Vera, Discovering Elegance, Solo Lisa, AND MANY MORE. I can seriously keep going!








What can we expect to see from The Doctor's Closet in the near future?
Monika:  Everything seems to happen very fast! That being said, the best things that have been happening have sorta been unplanned! I love to have everything planned out "a + b = c", however I've found that the best things that have happened haven't gone that way! The most exciting new project is the launch of the bfrend site. It's still in the process of getting ready, for now you can visit shopbfrend.com and sign up. We'll be sure to keep you in the loop! 

Favourite Boutique or store in Vancouver and why?
Monika: I have a few, but my favourites right now have to be: Violet Hill in Steveston, MUSE Social House in Morgan Crossing, Holly Boutique in Gastown, Obakki in Gastown and Ishara in Gastown.

There are SO many great designers and so many great brands that really need to be discovered! Living in Vancouver I feel like sometime we head back to the same STORE(s) ... I'm sure you can guess! And then it just ends up being tons of walking Vancouver Clones. I "try" to stay away from that as much as I can. Finding gorgeous one of a kind pieces in boutiques around town really defines a girl's personal style. If all else fails.. I'll check back to Robson street. But I always start at the small boutiques first! 

What is your favourite item in your closet for the fall?
Monika: I love coats and boots! I have a few (PLURAL) of each! My faves: A pair of 4 inch black leather Micheal Kors boots and a pair of Tory Burch Riding Boots! My favourite coat right now is, BB Dakota camel coloured coat, with a black trim. It's gorgeous! I picked it up at MUSE Social House.


What is your 'best kept secret' in Vancouver?
Monika: One of my favourite gals in Vancouver, Clio de la Llave from Booje Media just introduced me to a fabulous new restaurant in Gastown called House Guest. It's only been open for 2 weeks and it's def already a VanCity Fave! The food is amazing, the music is amazing, the decor is amazing, the vibe is amazing and the dessert is AHH-mazing!







Once again, thank you so much Monika for taking the time to share what you've been up to! Remember to check out her bfrend shop & sign-up for their newsletter to stay updated with all things bfrend! xo

July 18, 2011

Q & A with Tara Nish - CLOSED!

This Q & A features Vancouver-local Tara Nish, the designer behind AstridLily. Her reponses are completely heartfelt and humble. I think her story is absolutely inspiring and it really makes you think. On top of that, her jewelry is one of a kind and each piece is carefully handcrafted by Tara.

Lucky for Chanel & Caviar readers, everyone has a chance to enter to win one of her stunning pieces - more info down below. Feel free to check out her Etsy store and if you have any questions, leave them below! xo






How did AstridLily start and why the name?
Tara: A bad car accident left me with a back injury and unable to work at my Commercial Banking job, a career I loved and had just graduated with honors to pursue. I was hopelessly depressed, in chronic pain and feeling like I had no purpose. My friends and family encouraged me to pull out my jewelry supplies from year earlier and start creating. It had an immediate therapeutic effect, gave me a purpose in my day, and an outlet for self expression. I could create intervals, some days just as I lay in bed due to pain. Soon I posted my creations on Etsy and put my jewelry out to the world. The name was created years before after my beautiful daughter Astrid Lily.

How would you describe AstridLily?
Tara: I like to be very free spirited and I am passionate about creating looks that reflect that inner essence. I handcraft unique, elegant, whimsical gemstone jewelry for women who love mystical pretty things. AstridLily uses only the finest metals and semi precious gemstones ensuring each creation is one to be treasured for years to come. AstridLily is a dash of bohemian, a pinch of exotic, and a whole lot of glamour. AstridLily jewelry is precious, and meant to be treasured for years to come. It's not a trend. It's not disposable. It's a small piece of timeless art that expresses to the world the creative beautiful woman you are.

What sparked your interest in jewelery design?
Tara: My interest in jewelry sparked when I was doing "The Artist's Way". it's a book that is a guide to spark your inner artist. I started to browse in little boutiques on my "artist dates" and found all this interesting beautiful jewellery and it inspired me. I bought some materials and taught myself... wow, I still can't believe the power that book had!



How do you go about designing your pieces?
Tara: I design every piece from start to finish. I just lay out the gemstones and start to play.

How would you describe your own style? Do you have any go-to pieces?
Tara: I would say my style suits my personality completely....bohemian but sexy, a bit playful, I worship heels.

Favourite item you own?
Tara: Favourite item I own, is either a handwritten booklet that my daughter Astrid wrote everything about me. She made it at school for Mother's Day and I have never laughed harder. She just made up everything.... favourite food- cabbage, favourite activity- doing puzzles...hahaha....a whole bunch of awesome little imaginative findings:)

Where do you look for inspiration?
Tara: Inspiration comes in so many forms. The biggest source is actually the gemstones themselves... the colours and shapes, and the way the totally change if you add them with another colour. I love fashion, reading magazines, blogs, runway shows.

Style icon?
Tara: Hmm, I would say Bianca Jagger, Nicole Ritchie, Lourdes Ciccone Leon, Sara Jessica Parker... I just can't choose one.

One trend you don't ever want to see come back?
Tara: People please, it should never have been a trend, anything Ed Hardy. Men in bedazzled shirts is so wrong. The only thing worse, is men in overalls. So very wrong, unless you are Uncle Jesse out on the Dukes of Hazard set. Uncle Jesse rocks, he can wear a thong for all I care... well, maybe not.

Best advice you've heard?
Tara: Best advise I've heard- by far, and this is from a dying father to his daughter. Pay attention to your guy's actions, not what he says. If they don't match, ignore the words, the actions don't lie.

I hope you enjoyed the Q & A with Tara as much as I enjoyed working with her! I was so happy I ran into her at the Portabello West Market, here in Vancouver. She was so sweet and her daughter is such a doll! Remember to check out her Etsy store to see all her fabulous creations - they make the perfect gift!


The Giveaway!

As mentioned above, there is a fabulous giveaway included with this Q & A. After my last giveaway, I realized that it seemed a little "limited" as not everyone has Twitter or Facebook. So, for this one, there are multiple ways to enter to win the ring you see above! It's a stunning amethyst ring and comes in a medium size (if you win and live in the Greater Vancouver area, you are able to have it re-sized to fit you).

1) Signup for Chanel & Caviar's monthly Newsletter (+2 entries)
2) "Like" Chanel & Caviar on Facebook (+1 entry)
3) RT "I entered to win an @AstridLilyGems design from Chanel & Caviar! http://bit.ly/qNNviY via @CassyCarter" on Twitter (+1 entry)
4) Follow Chanel & Caviar through Bloglovin' (+1 entry)
5) Visit AstridLily's Etsy Store and comment on what your favourite item is! (+1 entry)

That's a total of SIX entries (something for everyone)! You MUST leave one comment telling me which ones you decided to do and your email! No comment, no entry. =( 


The contest is open internationally!


This contest closes Sunday, August 7th!!

Good Luck!


June 29, 2011

Q & A with Michelle Villett

Hi everyone!

The time has FINALLY come to share my most exciting Q & A to date! Today's Q & A is with the who's-who of all things related to beauty (drum roll please!): Michelle Villett from the BEAUTYEDITOR.ca.

She has been named the top beauty blogger by ELLE Canada Magazine because of her original (and very honest) content. With her expertise as an actual beauty editor, she shares her knowledge and what it's like behind the scenes. Her posts consist of all things related to beauty and it makes our lives, as the readers, a little easier. You'll find anything from: new hair & makeup products reviews (weekly picks), how to get rid of a pimple, waxing tips, how-tos on getting your favourite celeb's look or style and anything else you might want to know and maybe feel a little silly asking. Here's the good news: Ladies (and maybe even a few gentlemen), you no longer need to feel silly asking those questions. If she hasn't already posted something to help you out, send her a Tweet or even an email.

She's honest, funny, and even a little sassy. I hope you all enjoy and would love to hear your thoughts! xo 





What sparked your interest in blogging specifically about beauty products?
Michelle: I was a beauty editor for years, most recently at ELLE Canada, before I started blogging. BEAUTYEDITOR.ca was born out of a desire to share all the awesome beauty knowledge I had in my head—gathered from this wonderful yet somewhat bizarre job where you get to test countless products and interview makeup artists, dermatologists and hairdressers—but which I never had room for within the space constraints of a magazine. I also wanted to give people a peek behind the curtain at what it’s actually like to BE a beauty editor, which is a fascinating vocation in itself! 

What items can you not leave your house without?
Michelle: It changes all the time, but usually my handbag includes at least three or four lip products. Right now I'm loving the new category of "gloss-balms," especially YSL Volupte Sheer Candy and Givenchy Gelée d’Interdit Smoothing Gloss Balm Crystal Shine: more wow factor than a balm but more moisturizing than a gloss. In the summer I carry Colorescience Sunforgettable SPF 30 Mineral Powder for both sunscreen purposes and as a touch-up for mid-day shine. Because I have blotchy Scottish skin I always have to have a pot of concealer on my person (I like Nvey Eco Organic Erase, with a retractable Japonesque lip brush to apply hygenically). If I'm going out at night I'll bring cream blush and mini waterproof eyeliner pencil from Urban Decay. Oh, and hand cream, a nail file and perfume—one of my all-time favourites is Red Flower Guaiac, which comes in a mini roll-on.


How would you describe your own look?
Michelle: I like to look natural, but not TOO natural. One of my all-time favourite beauty quotes is from Calvin Klein: "The best thing is to look natural, but it takes makeup to look natural."

Biggest splurge on a product? Was it worth it?
Michelle: I'm lucky to be sent a lot of beauty products, so I rarely splurge unless it's something I really, really want. The last thing I bought was the perfume Cote d'Amour by L'Artisan Parfumeur. I'm obsessed with beach fragrances and this one has the extra bonus of being certified organic. I knew before I'd even smelled it that I'd love it, and I was right.

Biggest pet peeve?
Michelle: I really can't stand too-short bangs, both on other people and myself. (This is why I'm now extremely careful about who comes near me with scissors!) They look best just below the brows. 

Number one beauty secret?
Michelle: Cod liver oil! Not to apply but to ingest. Contrary to popular opinion, I believe that topical products can only do so much because how your skin looks is mostly a reflection of your diet (as well as sleeping habits, stress levels, etc.). I've tried countless vitamins, supplements, skincare regimens and dermatological treatments, and there is simply nothing that even compares to it for diminishing breakouts and giving your skin a healthy glow. It's also incredible for increasing your skin's resilience—I'm at the point now where I don't ever worry too much about what I'm putting on my skin. You can read some of the testimonials here. 

Top 5 beauty products?
Michelle: In no particular order: 
- YSL Creme de Blush and Giorgio Armani Blushing Fabric Second Skin Blush (tie): Blush is my favourite product category and I alternate between these two products every single day. Amazing texture (I prefer creams over powders) and both melt into your skin for a natural-looking flush.
- Child perfume: This is a cult fragrance that, no joke, makes people—men AND women—stop in the street to ask you what you're wearing. It's that intoxicating.
- Nailtiques Formula 2 Plus: I have pathetically weak, peely nails and this is the only strengthener on the market that gives me results.
- Shu Uemura UV Under Base Mousse: In the warmer months, I wear this underneath my tinted moisturizer or foundation, and there is simply no better primer for preventing mid-day shine.


- Latisse: I just started on this prescription eyelash-growth treatment and I'm hooked! It's only been a month but already I'm noticing much longer and thicker lashes.



Beauty inspiration and style icon?
Michelle: I'm an Emma Stone fangirl. She's not afraid to mix it up and try different things, like hot pink lipstick or eyeshadow all the way up to the brow. But she always looks fresh and age-appropriate.


Can everyone wear bronzer? What's a good alternative if you don't like wearing it? 
Michelle: I don't think bronzer should ever be more that a couple of shades darker than your skin tone. I don't like bronzer powders myself, and especially not sparkly ones—too J. Lo circa 2001. I think anyone can do a cream bronzer as they're so much easier to apply and blend with your fingers. (Just do a "3" shape following the hairline: go along the forehead, come in under the cheekbones and then back out and down along the jawline. Repeat in reverse on the other side.) If you want something even more subtle, Stila's One Step Bronze Skin Tone Illuminating Bronzing Serum is the perfect product for this.


What are your top tips to pick out the perfect shade of lipstick for this summer? How do you know what colour to look for?
Michelle: There aren't any hard and fast rules about colour anymore. I think the whole notion of being a "warm" or a "cool" and then sticking to only shades in that family is a bit outdated (I've been writing about this here). So I would suggest experimenting and pushing the boundaries a bit—you might be surprised at what looks good on you. (For example, I never thought I could pull off oranges because my skin is on the "cool" side—but I recently discovered that coral shades, with a bit of pink, actually look amazing.) If you're not used to wearing bright colour, lip stains are a great way to ease into the trend.

What's the best way to keep your makeup looking fresh without a huge morning routine?
Michelle: Primer will help the rest of your makeup go on more flawlessly and last longer. Apply it on clean, dry skin after moisturizing but before makeup. Setting your makeup with a translucent finishing powder (eg. Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder) will also help it stay fresh. Unlike other powders, it gives you the most seamless "real skin" finish, but it's very important that you apply it sparingly—use a domed eyeshadow brush and the tiniest amount of product only on shine-prone areas. Urban Decay Razor Sharp Ultra Definition Finishing Powder is also great and maybe a bit more convenient to apply. 


One trend you don't ever want to see come back?
Michelle: I'm already over nail art, even though technically it's still in style! I'm ready for solid-coloured nails again, preferably in classic shades.

Best advice you've heard?
Michelle: Always apply concealer at the inner corners of your eyes. It's the one trick that will make the biggest difference to how you look—it wakes up your entire face, even if you don't wear any other makeup.


And there it is! Thanks again to Michelle for taking the time to answer with such detailed responses! I hope everyone who read enjoyed her answers and had a chance to check out her blog! Remember, if you have any questions that you can't find clear answers to or if you just want to say hi, send her a Tweet. xo

May 28, 2011

Q & A Scribbles with Monika Hibbs

Meet Monika Hibbs.

Monika Hibbs is the Vancouver based blogger behind The Doctor's Closet. Her blog is my go to place for all kinds of inspirations and it never fails. Whenever I am thinking about changing or adding something to my home, I allllways take a look at her blog. Never fails. In addition to being super creative, she is also a doctor. Yes a doctor (hence the title of her blog). 

At the moment there is an event underway called the Urban Cultural Conference + Awards. It's a great chance to showcase, and ultimately celebrate, some of the amazing talent here in Vancouver! It just so happens that her blog is ALSO in the running for Vancouver's best fashion blog and is in first place!! So be sure to check it out and vote for all your Vancouver favs! Enjoy the Q & A and be sure to follow her on Twitter & Facebook!


Photo 2 + The Best Time of Year.

 Photo 3 + Sword.

Photo 4 + Sunshine & Smiles.

Photo 5 + Some of the World's Greatest Places.

Photo 6 + Best Day Ever.



May 21, 2011

Q & A Scribbles with Kelsey Dundon

Meet Kelsey.

Kelsey Dundon is yet another fabulous Vancouver blogger! Her blog, The Anthology, is full of fabulous things - with a strong focus on local. You can find anything from fashion tid bits, to great local places, to interviews with upcoming artist and much more. Also, I'm pretty sure this is the most colourful Q & A I've ever had! I hope you all enjoy and remember to check out her blog and Twitter!


Photo 2 + Belt

Photo 3 + Sun Hat.

Photo 4 + Snow White.

Photo 5 + Vintage Leather Clutch.