My LashDip Experience at Noir Lash Lounge

Ever wish you could wake up with pretty lashes sans mascara? The hot new treatment LashDip promises just that. Described as “the modern woman’s answer to mascara,” LashDip uses a 100% hypoallergenic, blacker-than-black gel substance to coat each individual lash and sculpt it into place. It won’t damage your natural lashes, and its toxin and preservative-free formula is gentle enough for contact lens wearers. When dried, LashDip can last up to 6 weeks. The result: weeks on end of beautiful curled lashes without smudges, clumps, flakes or fussing.

Featured in the May 2011 issue of Vogue, LashDip is available at a small but growing list of US salons; in Canada, it’s only available at 3 places. Luckily for Vancouverites though, 2 of those 3 places happen to be Noir Lash Lounge’s Yaletown and South Granville locations. (Noir’s owner Joyce Poon is the only one certified to do LashDip in all of western Canada.)

Noir Lash Lounge owner Joyce Poon

Last Saturday, I visited Noir for my very own LashDip experience. (First timers, take note: Don’t wear mascara or any sort of eye makeup to your appointment. And if you wear hard contacts, bring a case and some solution so you can take them out.) After getting settled in, Joyce applied soothing gel pads to my undereye area and instructed me to keep my eyes closed at all times. She set to work curling my lashes with a heated curler. She then applied 4 or 5 coats of LashDip, drying each coat with cold air. You can do as many as 6 coats, she explained, but it depends on whether your lashes can handle that many without being weighed down. Lastly, a waterproof sealant was applied.

The entire process took about an hour. At the end of it, my lashes looked amazing. They had lift, curl and length and I was more doe-eyed than ever.

Joyce sent me on my way with a sheet of care instructions, oil-free eye makeup remover and a box of pointed cotton swabs. “No crying for the first 24 hours,” I scoffed as I read the instructions. “You seriously have to tell people that?” “Oh you’d be surprised,” she said. “Girls call me all the time the day after their appointments, telling me they got into fights with their boyfriends and ruined their lashes.”

Ironically, I ended up committing that exact no-no 10 hours later when I got into an argument with the boy and teared up. The next day, my lashes had straightened slightly, and the spectacular lift and curl gave way to a more natural look. They looked like my lashes normally did after I curled them and applied mascara. According to online reviews and Joyce, the spectacular effect should’ve stayed for at least 2.5 weeks if I hadn’t cried. But even if you commit a LashDip faux pas like I did, the worst case scenario is that you have a natural, pretty look and fuss-free mascara’d lashes for days on end. It makes my minimal morning makeup routine go even faster, that’s for sure.

At $125 for upper lashes, $45 for lower lashes, and $45 for a refresh appointment 2-3 weeks down the line, LashDip is definitely a splurge. Get it if:

  • You have an upcoming vacation and you don’t want swimming or sweating to ruin your makeup.
  • You don’t like fussing with mascara.
  • You’ve tried lash extensions or false eyelashes and you don’t like how they feel.
  • You want something that’ll work for your lower lashes.

On the other hand, you should skip it if:

  • You’re looking for the drama and wow factor that extensions or falsies give you.
  • You’re a bride who’s considering LashDip as an alternative to extensions. Extensions are more dramatic and tend to photograph better.

Thanks to Noir Lash Lounge for the chance to try this cutting edge beauty treatment! For more information or to book your own LashDip appointment, visit Noir’s website.

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And the Dakota Group pre-shop event winner is...

Lorena!

Thanks to everyone who entered, and have a wonderful Easter weekend!
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From Solo Lisa's Kitchen: Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

These homemade chocolate peanut butter cups from MarthaStewart.com are a bit messy to make, but completely worth the clean-up because they're super easy and the results are delicious! I made a batch to take to Monday morning meetings and they were a hit with my coworkers. If you need to impress guests at a potluck or party and don't have enough time to bake, you can make and freeze peanut butter cups instead.

Easy Peanut Butter Cups

4 oz. white chocolate

1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

12 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate [I ended up using 16 oz.]

2 tablespoons unsalted roasted peanuts

  1. Line two 12-cup mini muffin pans with paper liners; set aside. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine white chocolate and peanut butter. Microwave, until almost melted, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, stirring halfway through. Set aside to cool slightly.
  2. Meanwhile, place semisweet chocolate in another microwave-safe bowl. Microwave, stirring once or twice, until almost melted, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Dividing evenly, use a spoon to layer semisweet chocolate and peanut-butter mixture into liners, beginning and ending with chocolate; sprinkle with peanuts. Place muffin pans in freezer until peanut butter cups are firm, about 15 minutes. Bring to room temperature before serving.
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Win a chance to pre-shop the Dakota Group sample sale!

It's that time of year again! The Dakota Group sample sale happens twice a year and is always one of my favourites because of the Pour La Victoire, Kelsi Dagger and Matiko shoes at incredible prices. If you're a shoe lover like me, you're in luck. According to the organizers, "this sale is all about SHOES! Prices will be wholesale or cheaper (that's 50% off retail prices minimum). Brands include Matiko, Chinese Laundry, Pour La Victoire, Jenny Han, Kelsi Dagger, Faryl Robin, Matt & Nat, Factory by Erik Hart, FluXus, Something Else, One Teaspoon and more." For all the details, refer to the flyer above.

The Dakota Group is offering one lucky Solo Lisa reader the chance to shop the sale before it's open to the public. This means you get the best selection before anyone else. To be eligible, you must be a Lower Mainland resident. Simply leave a comment on this post telling me which Dakota Group shoe label you're a fan of before Friday April 22nd, 12pm Pacific time. (That's only 2 days from now, so you should enter asap.) The winner will be chosen randomly. Good luck!

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Dear Striped Zara Top

What's not to love? You nail several key trends this season--brights, stripes and colour-blocking--in one fell swoop. Your boat neckline, T-shirt sleeves and loose silhouette make for a sleek, sophisticated top. I also love how you play nicely with the other pieces in my wardrobe: cardigans in brights and neutrals, skinny jeans, ballet flats, blazers.

Thanks for letting me nab a Prada-inspired look without inflicting major damage on my pocketbook.

Cheers,

Lisa

$59.90 at Zara. For more fun bright pieces, check out their April lookbook.

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Today's Outfit: Art School Confidential

  • Banana Republic cardigan
  • Anthropologie 'Art School Confidential' blouse
  • H&M shorts
  • Dynamite tights
  • American Apparel oxfords
  • t o o d l e s by toodlebunny cameo earrings
  • Timex watch

I've worn this 'Art School Confidential' blouse from Anthropologie almost every week since I bought it during a day trip to Seattle last winter. And for good reason: the black-and-white pattern is visually interesting, the cut is appropriate for work, and the neutral colours work well with colourful cardigans and denim. It's funny how I talked about it in my haul video but haven't posted about it since when I wear it so often! (In other news, I'm super excited about Anthropologie opening on South Granville later this year so I don't have to go across the border for my fix.)

Do any of you style bloggers have outfits or pieces in your wardrobe that you wear all the time and never post?

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Product Review: Givenchy Gelée d'Interdit Smoothing Gloss Balm

Oh lip gloss, we have such a love-hate relationship. I thought I'd given you up entirely last year in favour of lipstick. But these days I find myself picking you up occasionally and dabbing a bit over matte lip shades for extra sheen. After all, it's a very pretty look for spring and an easy way to update my lip colours for warmer months.

Enter Givenchy's newest lip gloss line, Gelée d'Interdit. The lychee-scented formula is wax-free and boasts a balm-like, non-sticky texture. Cameline oil and Hyaluronique Micro Spheres are supposed to moisturize and plump parched lips. The promised result: transparent shine thanks to the sheer sparkling formula and beautiful lips.

For the past month, I've been using Gelée d'Interdit after receiving tubes of 09 Neon Orange and 03 Transparent Shine from Givenchy's PR team, and I have only good things to say about it. The square silver-capped tube is elegant and compact, and I like how the applicator is a very fine point brush instead of the standard swab. Small details like these make the experience of applying and wearing Gelée d'Interdit feel much more luxe than your run-of-the-mill lip glosses.

The scent is pleasant and the formula moisturizes effectively without being too sticky. Because Gelée d'Interdit is supposed to add transparent shine, even bright colours like Neon Orange look quite sheer. For more intensity, I layered the glosses over my existing collection of lipsticks, which added shine and dimension to my favourite shades. Transparent Shine looks great on top of classic bright reds, while Neon Orange pairs nicely with corals. The promised plumping effect is noticeable but still quite subtle.

Overall, I love these glosses enough to make room for them in my carefully edited makeup collection, and that's tall praise coming from a girl who doesn't like lip gloss. Gelée d'Interdit is definitely a keeper.

Want to try Givenchy Gelée d'Interdit for yourself? In Canada, the glosses retail for $29 exclusively at Sephora and are available starting today.

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Banana Republic's Signature Summer Dress Collection Hits Stores

Everything's coming up roses at Banana Republic--or, to be more precise, lots of pretty florals. Bloggers and media gathered at the Banana Republic store on Robson street Wednesday afternoon to check out the new Signature Summer Dress collection. With more than 70 styles expected to arrive in staggered shipments throughout spring and summer, it's no wonder that this is billed as the most expansive summer dress collection ever launched at BR. "The collection was designed with the greatest of intentions: to fulfill every woman's fantasy of opening a closet and discovering one dreamy dress after another," explains creative director and EVP Simon Kneen.

Judging from what I saw at the preview, Kneen has the "dreamy dresses" part of the equation down pat. The florals on the A-line fitted frocks, wrap-front dresses, and ankle-grazing maxis ranged from Van Gogh-esque blue and yellow to large abstract watercolours. Solid-coloured numbers boasted fun jewel hues and carefree ruffles. Fabrications consisted of lightweight yet luxurious silk, cotton and linen. I could easily envision the more casual ruffled dresses being worn to run errands on a hot summer's day, while the maxis would be well-suited to patio parties and the A-line knee-length floral frocks would be perfectly suited for afternoon weddings. BR will be getting new stock continuously as the months go by, so chances are you'll see new styles every time you visit.

So what else can BR fans expect from this collection later? Think sequins, white eyelet, halter necklines, more maxis, and lots of fun prints. At $85-$370 per dress with most dresses under $160, prices are reasonable enough to appeal to the budget-conscious shopper looking to update her warm weather wardrobe.

Of course, what's the right outfit without the right accessories? I spotted these fun beaded foldover clutches ($124) near the Signature Summer Dress collection.

I ended up going home with a long blue and yellow floral silk maxi--my first maxi dress ever! The material is soft and flowy and the dress is lined up to the 3/4 mark in the skirt. Although mine came from the petites section, it was still a good 3"-4" longer than the length I'd need for flat sandals. But that's okay--I can probably keep it long to wear with heels and use fashion tape to tack up the hem when I want to wear it with flat sandals. Now if only the weather will warm up! Expect to see an outfit post featuring this maxi once summer arrives in Vancouver.


Thanks to the PR folks from Banana Republic for the invite and dress! To shop the collection, visit your nearest Banana Republic store or check out the dress selection online. And if you want to see the dresses that other fashion lovers chose, check out this post on The Style Spy.

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Obakki F/W 2011 Show


Local label Obakki is holding their F/W 2011 show later this month! Unlike shows in seasons past, this one will be open to the public. For more details, see the flyer or below. To purchase your tickets, click here.


obakki fall / winter ‘11 fashion show & after party

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

FASHION SHOW @ 8PM sharp, doors @ 7:30PM

St. Andrews-Wesley Church at 1022 Nelson Street (Corner of Burrard and Nelson)

AFTERPARTY @ 9PM: Boneta at 1 West Cordova. Gastown.

COST: $20/ fashion show $40/ fashion show + after party

Tickets are available online at obakki.com or at the Obakki flagship store

*Limited space available All proceeds to the Obakki Foundation

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Lisa's Most Coveted List

It's been a long time since the last edition of my Most Coveted list. Here are 5 things I'm loving right now.


1. Geisha Ink liquid eyeliner ($30; available at BeautyMark or Kiss & Makeup). As far as liquid eyeliners go, Geisha Ink is one that makes me wonder how I ever lived without it. The formula is waterproof, smudge-proof and lasts 24 hours, plus the tip is superfine. You can draw a line as thin as a thread or lay it on thick for a dramatic yet precise cat's eye.


2. Pretty peachy polishes. After a long fall and winter of dark nail colours, I can't get enough of light blush and beige hues. Not only do they complement a lighter spring wardrobe, they're guaranteed not to clash with the colour-blocked ensembles that are so trendy this season. My picks: Sephora by OPI's 'Nonfat Soy Half Caff' (a warm pinkish beige creme) and Butter London's 'Hen Party' (a sheer peach with blue shimmer).

3. Zooey Deschanel on the cover of FLARE and Lucky. I've loved her since 500 Days of Summer, so it's nice to see one of my favourite style icons gracing two magazine covers within two months. The FLARE cover (shot by Tony Duran) shows Zooey in a high fashion light, while the Lucky cover (shot by Robert Erdmann) captures the quirky Zooey we all know and love. In other news, who else is excited about seeing Your Highness?

4. T. Babaton 'Carter' trench ($250 at Aritzia). A classic trench coat will look good one, five, and ten years from now, so it pays to invest in a nice one. I recently fell in love with the 'Carter' from Aritzia. Single-breasted with a flap that can be buttoned up to the neck or folded down for a deep V neckline, this is a versatile piece that will carry you through spring in style. Plus, the heavy cotton fabrication is more wrinkle-resistant than many of the cheaper trenches I've seen, which means that it'll look crisp and impossibly chic instead of rumpled.

5. You, dear readers! Adjusting to a new job and schedule has been more difficult than expected. I don't have as much time and energy to reply to blog comments, and at times the blogging has become pretty erratic. Thanks for sticking by me during the last couple of months.

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From Solo Lisa's Kitchen: Breaded Chicken


The nice thing about a simple recipe like breaded chicken is that you can make substitutions with whatever ingredients you have on hand and the dish will still turn out okay. After consulting a recipe for whole wheat-crusted chicken breast cutlets on Epicurious, I went to work making my own version. The breading mixture I ultimately used consisted of white toasted bread, pecorino romano cheese, lemon-infused sea salt, and pepper. Although the recipe calls for a combination of mayonnaise and Dijon mustard as the wet mixture, I substituted a beaten egg for the mayo.

So how'd it turn out? Not bad at all. I think I'm going to add this recipe to the lunch recipe rotation.

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And the Shopbop $100 GC winner is...

Lorena

So what would she spend her gift card on?

"I would spend it on the Dolce Vita Campbell Crisscross flat sandals that I've been eyeing for a while. Thank you for the giveaway!"

Congratulations Lorena! I'll be contacting you via email with details on how you can claim your prize. To everyone else, thank you for entering the giveaway.

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Today's Outfit: So Fresh, So Spring

  • Joe Fresh silk tunic
  • (212) skirt
  • Dynamite tights
  • Dominic Design earrings
  • Yosi Samra flats
  • Aldo shoe clips
  • Timex watch

It sounds like a fashion lover's cliché, but as soon as I saw this silk tunic from Joe Fresh I had to have it. The blue-and-white print and loose peasant silhouette reminded me of so many things. Both a little bit boho and a little bit nautical, it evoked willow pattern plates and well-to-do ladies on a yacht or out for a day at the country club. The (212) skirt was another must-have. Camel wool, full lining, exposed zipper, sleek lines, and pockets--what's not to love?

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From Solo Lisa's Kitchen: Pasta with Porcini Mushroom Sauce and Chicken


While looking for new porcini recipes to try, I stumbled upon one for tortellini with porcini mushroom sauce on Epicurious. The three-cheese tortellini, whipping cream, butter, and copious amounts of parmesan that it called for sounded too rich though. To make a lighter version of this dish, I substituted pennette rigate for the tortellini, half-and-half for the whipping cream, and olive oil for the butter. I left the parmesan out entirely and only sprinkled some on the pasta right before eating it. I also cut a chicken breast up into small cubes and sauteed it with the shallots for some lean protein.

Despite all my substitutions, the creamy mushroomy sauce still proved quite heavy. The solution? Serve with a lemon wedge on the side. Citrus flavours cut through rich sauces wonderfully.

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Trendspotting: Scarf Tie Sandals

One is random, two is a coincidence and three's a trend, right? Or something like that. If there's any truth in that saying, then surely scarf tie sandals are an emerging trend this season. Imagine a colourful scarf wrapped around your ankles instead of at your neck, the prettiness of the fabric and fluttery bow, and, well, you can understand the appeal of this particular shoe style. They're a softer, more feminine alternative to the buckled straps, studded leather, and gladiator styles we've seen in recent years.



Stuart Weitzman x Theodora and Callum espadrille wedges, $395 on Net-A-Porter. Also available at select Stuart Weitzman boutiques.

Missoni crochet knit espadrilles, $350 on Net-A-Porter

If designer sandals are beyond your budget, you can always swap the ties on a pair of wrap sandals for inexpensive scarves or thick ribbons. Or you can mimic the DvF pair by wrapping scarves around a pair of high-heeled mules.

Are you going to try scarf tie sandals this spring?

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Converse x Marimekko Collaboration Comes to Vancouver


Finnish brand Marimekko is known worldwide for its patterned textiles; Converse is famous for its Chuck Taylor and Jack Purcell canvas low- and high-top sneakers. So it seemed only natural and fitting that the two brands would release a capsule collection of shoes featuring Marimekko's prints. Launched in February 2011, the shoes are available online, at select stores, and at Marimekko concept stores. Luckily for Vancouver's Converse aficionados, they can get their hands on a pair at the Marimekko concept store (1233 Hamilton St.) in Yaletown.


I had a chance to check out the shoes in person at Marimekko a couple weeks ago. The black-and-white and red-and-white prints are lively and fun for spring, a nice play on Converse's iconic sneakers but still versatile enough to work for a variety of casual looks. Each pair has a contrasting neon lining inside and comes with a removable cushiony insole and a pair of neon laces in a complementary colour.


Whether you're a Converse collector or simply looking for a new pair of casual sneakers to round out your spring wardrobe, you won't want to miss this collaboration.

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Today's Outfit: Sunshine for the Spring

  • Joe Fresh cardigan, belt, and flats
  • H&M striped tee
  • Calvin Klein jeans
  • t o o d l e s by Toodlebunny cameo earrings
  • Timex watch
  • Shoe clips from a pair of Aldo flats

So what was I up to all those days that I wasn't blogging last week?

  1. Fending off the flu.
  2. Working from home to meet an important deadline with Oprah on in the background.
  3. Yoga on Saturday morning once I was feeling better.
  4. Coffee and catch-up time with my friend Megan, whom I hadn't seen in months.
  5. Shopping and browsing to my heart's content in Gastown and downtown. I ended up coming home with a camel wool skirt from (212) that was marked down 70% and a T. Babaton black blazer and beige trench from Aritzia.
  6. Bumping into Alicia and having a great impromptu dinner date.
  7. Baking lemon ginger bundt cake for my coworkers.

As you can see, I was too busy to think of an interesting outfit that went beyond the basics. Luckily for times like these, a bright colour, simple accessories, stripes, and dark denim make for an easy ensemble that looks pulled together. Sure, we have rain right now, but with sunny hues in one's wardrobe, spring is on its way, isn't it?

Happy Friday everyone! What are you planning to do this weekend?

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