Chapters Indigo Holiday Preview

Shameful confession: These days, I spend more time browsing the home wares at Chapters Indigo than the books. (Resisting the siren's call of stationery and scented candles is difficult, especially since I tend to buy books via Kobo these days anyway.) That's why when I was invited to the beautiful Fairmont Pacific Rim owner's suite for the Chapters Indigo holiday preview, I was on it like white on snow.

Each space—the living area, bedroom, bathroom, and terrace—was outfitted with gift and entertainment ideas. From candles to throw pillows, from fashion accessories to foodie gifts, the preview seemed to feature everything one would need for a stylish, cozy Christmas at home. All the more reason for me to visit Chapters this winter with a caramel brulée latte in hand! Here's a photo-heavy glimpse of what's coming.

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Top 5 Picks from Roots Fall/Winter 2013

Smythe x Roots collaboration leather jacket, 'Edie' crossbody bag in gold saffiano leather, 'Shirley' bag in Port Royale, 'Russian Vamp' boots in black, 'Sorority' jacket

Although I've been a fan for some time, I grew to love Roots even more after attending their fall/winter 2013 media preview in June. After all, what's not to love about a Canadian heritage brand that still manufactures in Canada, using leathers sourced from the same European tanneries that supply luxury companies?

Learning about the thoughtful details and construction behind each sporty, Canadiana-infused piece in the fall/winter 2013 collections proved to be somewhat overwhelming. (So much to see!) But now that I've had time to mull over the collections, definite favourites have emerged. Which of these items do you have your eye on?

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Toronto-bound for #BeautyUnited

An Instagram photo of the CN Tower against a blue sky

Happy Sunday, dear readers! As you read this, I'm en route to Toronto for the second time this year, this time for the launch of P&G Beauty's new blogger ambassador program, Beauty United.

I'm excited and grateful to be participating in this new venture. Longtime readers of this blog know I stand by Cover Girl LashBlast as one of the best drugstore mascaras you can get for your money. I'm eager to find out more about this P&G beauty brand's new trends and launches, as well as those of sister brands Olay and Pantene—all while spending more time in a city I'd love to know better.

The blog is going to be a little quiet over the next couple of days, but you can follow my whirlwind #BeautyUnited adventure on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. See you later in the week!

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Product Review(s): The "Not Quite There" Round-up

JOICO Instant Refresh Dry Shampoo, Givenchy Noir Couture 4 in 1 Waterproof Mascara, Maybelline's the Falsies Big Eyes Mascara

With a slew of products to test during the summer, it's inevitable that I'd encounter one or two that aren't up to snuff. These three all prove disappointing in some way, sadly. I'm posting them anyway because while they might have failed me and my very specific needs, they could very well work for you and become one of your beauty essentials.

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My Collective Skincare Experience

Collective Skincare founder Kathryn Sawers

On the morning I showed up at BeautyMark for my first ever Collective Skincare facial, skincare specialist Kathryn Sawers had her work cut out for her. My complexion was looking less than stellar thanks to a stressful week at work, a few drinks the night before, and the ultimate beauty sin of falling asleep without washing my face. (Indefensible, I know, but I was so wiped out.) To say that I was eager for the skin-soothing benefits of a Dermalogica facial would be an understatement.

Kathryn—who brings over 12 years experience to her fledgling business—approaches skincare from a holistic view, looking at lifestyle factors such as stress, diet, exercise, and skincare regimens and how they contribute to or detract from a healthy glow. "The skin is the body’s largest organ with many integral functions. It acts as a window, in the sense that if looked at carefully, it can give insight into overall health. When our skin looks good, we feel confident."

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Latest Outfit: Easy Sunday

Vancouver blogger Lisa Wong of Solo Lisa wears a yellow and white striped day dress with a white denim jacket, nude ballet flats, and little blue crossbody bag.
JACOB dress (c/o; part of the summer dress sale on now) | J. Crew belt | Gap denim jacket | Roots bag | Banana Republic flats

You might recognize this dress from last week's Deighton Cup post, dressed up with a fascinator, heels, and a fancy clutch. Well, here is the same dress in its everyday incarnation. I'm pretty sure I've broken some sort of unspoken blogger taboo against featuring the same item two outfit posts in a row. But in reality, I've been wearing this JACOB dress non-stop since I received it (and been receiving compliments non-stop in the process!). It's such a flattering, easy piece that throwing it on in the mornings is a no-brainer, which certainly proved to be the case for a leisurely Sunday of brunch and errands. Anyway, perpetuating this myth that bloggers rarely wear the same thing twice in a short time span seems silly, no?

Happy Monday!

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Working

Vancouver-based beauty and style blogger Solo Lisa's home office space, featuring white furniture and framed prints.
My home office as seen on Instagram

As an introvert, some of my best thinking is done in quiet spaces with zero distractions. I like vegging on the couch with a book (lately, something about team leadership or management) and a glass of wine. Other times, I need to sit at a proper desk with coffee in hand to really get into the groove.

The latter is more fun lately thanks to a few tweaks. For one thing, I finally got around to putting up the prints I bought from MadeByGirl, I See Noise, BANQUET Atelier & Workshop, and Lady Gatsby. Some new additions from the Hach—a new box that corrals small press kits and beauty product samples, Japanese pens—also make this workspace cheerier and more productive, as do these floral Rifle Paper Co. notebooks (found at Chapters on sale!). Lastly, but most importantly, I like to keep reference materials like books, magazines, and press releases close at hand.

Where do you do your best work?

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Product Review: Fresh Sugar Cherry Lip Treatment SPF 15

Fresh Sugar Cherry Lip Treatment SPF 15

As someone who blogs about beauty, I hold these truths to be self-evident:

  1. While I might sing the praises of purple glosses, red is a classic lip colour for good reason.
  2. Being re-introduced to a product I liked the first time around is always a treat.

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 ($26 at Sephora) is a charming, cherry-scented reminder of both truths. I liked the plum version when I tried it two years ago, but I much prefer the new cherry flavour for its superior pigment payoff and bright red hue. As always, the formula packs long-lasting moisture (it stayed on through two morning coffess, lunch, and lots of deep-thought-induced lip-pursing at my desk), and a melt-on-your-mouth texture. SPF 15 is just the cherry on top.

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Purple Reign

AERIN lip gloss in 'Evening Light', Almay color + care liquid lip balm in 'Lilac Love', Dior Addict gloss in 'Ensorcelante', Lise Watier Gloss Bollywood, Revlon Super Lustrous Lip Gloss in 'Berry Allure'

One of the surest, easiest ways to feel fall-ready is to switch up one's beauty routine. But while I'm ready to embrace fall dressing (oxblood! cashmere! ankle boots!), I'm not prepared to wear dark, matte lip colours just yet. That's why I'm turning to purple lip glosses in the interim.

From lavender to lilac, from wine to mauve, purple glosses boast the sheerness and sheen of your favourite summer glosses. They'll look great with a tan while also paying homage to fall's darker, moodier shades. What's more, they're a refreshing change of pace from the oranges, fuchsias, and corals that seem to be so dominant this season.

I used to think that a good purple was hard to find, but now they seem to be popping up at every price point. Here's a round-up of five purple-y glosses that have landed on my desk recently.

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Latest Outfit: Deighton Cup

Vancouver blogger Lisa Wong of Solo Lisa wears a yellow-and-white striped day dress from JACOB, a red fascinator from Fine Finds, and a red belt along with a Saint Laurent 'Belle de Jour' black patent clutch and patterned cobalt-and-blue J. Crew 'Everly' pumps.
JACOB dress (c/o; on sale) | Fascinator (from Fine Finds) | Belt (from another dress) | Saint Laurent 'Belle de Jour' clutch | J. Crew 'Everly' pumps (other colours)
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Latest Outfit: Under the Boardwalk

Striped tee worn with fuchsia silk shorts, metallic leather sandals, and a small but colourful crossbody bag and cat-eye shades.
Saint James for J. Crew tee | Joe Fresh shorts | Marni x H&M sandals | J. Crew bracelet | Roots bag | Ray Ban cat-eye shades

I wear these silk shorts about once a year because they're so fussy to do up: two waist ties, three buttons, and a zip fly. There must be chastity belts that go on and off with less effort, I think to myself grimly every time I have to go to the bathroom. But once they're on, they're a marvel, combining the stylish allure of colourful draped silk with the comfort of pajamas. The shorts were the perfect match for my flat silver sandals (also worn about once a year) and sailor stripes.

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Product Review: Macadamia Natural Oil Deep Repair Masque

Macadamia Natural Oil Deep Repair Masque

Beauty blogging has exposed me to some wonderful products thanks to the numerous samples that cross my desk. So when I actually spend hard-earned money on a product not once, but twice, I can't resist sharing. In this case, the product is Macadamia Natural Oil Deep Repair Masque ($6-36 at BeautyMark), a deep-conditioning hair masque that nourishes locks with a blend of macadamia, argan, tea tree, and chamomile oils as well as aloe and algae extract.

The Deep Repair Masque's creamy, moisturizing texture is apparent from the first moment I comb it into freshly shampooed hair. I leave it in for the duration of my shower and rinse it out at the very end. By the time I finish blow-drying, the masque's benefits are fully evident: My hair is sleek and shiny beyond anything a normal conditioner could achieve, and unbelievably soft. Plus, the masque's natural ingredients leave the most delicious scent behind.

So far I've been buying the $6 trial-sized packets, which hold enough product for 2-3 masques for shoulder-length styles or 1 masque for long hair. The packets are great for travel (think parched ends after a long day of sun, sand, and surf). But next time, I'm going to spring for a more substantial jar.

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OhKuol, So Cool

Earrings, necklaces, and rings by Vancouver-based gemstone jewelry line OhKuol featuring druzy, quartz, aqua chalcedony, citrine, and labradorite

Vancouver-based OhKuol is a handmade gemstone jewelry line I can get excited about. Most handmade gemstone jewelry lines tend to involve delicate, beaded things, whereas my taste these days veers toward statement baubles.

OhKuol's creators Vi and Priscilla Phan, on the other hand, have wisely decided to keep their quartzes, citrines, druzies, and various other gems big and bold, letting the stones' beauty shine through in modern bezel settings crafted from gold and silver vermeil. The result is a jewelry line that bridges the gap between costume and keepsake. And the best part? Most pieces are under $100. Let the browsing (and the drooling) begin.

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Look Great at Your Friends' Weddings (While Wearing What You Already Own)

Like most twentysomething women I know, my summer weekends inevitably involve attending other people's weddings, and with these nuptial celebrations comes the question of what to wear. I know some women use summer weddings as excuses to buy new dresses, which is all fine and well. But because I'd rather save my dollars for the wedding gift and for splurge-y fall fashion, I usually opt to work with what I already have—which, as it always turns out, is plenty.

So the next time you have a special occasion to dress up for, why not shop your closet? Here I've given two staples many women have—a little black dress and a little black skirt—a fresh lease on life with some playful accoutrements. Chances are you can replicate the looks below with similar items from your own wardrobe.

Anthropologie Elsa peplum dress, Kenneth Jay Lane gold cuff, Kate Spade Madison heels, Saint Laurent Belle de Jour clutch

A sculptural gold cuff and patent envelope clutch lend shine and contrast to this lacy peplum frock. Meanwhile, cobalt satin heels add a splash of playful colour. To replicate this look yourself, look for cuff or stacked bracelets, colourful heels, and a clutch with a contrasting colour or texture in your own closet.


Zara pencil skirt, J. Crew silk henley top, Alice + Olivia Dina snakeskin pumps, Kotur Margo Surrealist clutch, J. Crew technicolor floral necklace

Give a basic black skirt a festive spin by adding colour (in this case, a jewel-toned sleeveless silk blouse) and pattern (snakeskin pumps and a surrealist minaudière). The technicolour statement necklace finishes the look with a certain aplomb. When shopping your closet to replicate this look, keep your eyes peeled for colourful silky tops, patterned clutches and shoes, and bold baubles.

Need more wedding guest attire inspiration? Check out this post and this post from the archives.

What are you wearing to summer weddings?

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KNOWSHOW Spring/Summer 2014


I know I was whinging in my last post about summer coming to a close, but if anything I should be enjoying these sunny days to the fullest while they last. These photos from KNOWSHOW Spring/Summer 2014 are a timely reminder of that ethos. The three-day lifestyle trade show kicked off with a fashion presentation and media reception titled "Endless Summer."

Models sporting swimwear looks from Vitamin A and Roxy frolicked on the artificial indoor beach, which was accessorized with lounge chairs, vintage periodicals, surfboards, and palm trees. Note to self: Sit outside and enjoy the rays, preferably with a refreshing cocktail and a scintillating read.

Photos by Ian Azariah




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Latest Outfit: Swiss Dots

Vancouver fashion blogger Lisa Wong stands in front of a local coffee shop wearing a JACHS sleeveless blouse, Cici tie-waist shorts from Two of Hearts Boutique, a sparkly J. Crew statement necklace, Ray Ban cat-eye shades, a Roots bag, and Rachel Comey x Urban Outfitters sandals.
JACHS blouse (c/o) | J. Crew necklace (c/o) | Cici shorts (from Two of Hearts Boutique) | Ray Ban cat-eye shades | Rachel Comey x Urban Outfitters sandals | Roots bag

The days are getting shorter, the sun sets a little earlier each evening, and sometimes it's chilly enough in the shade to make me wish I had a light cardigan. Sad though the truth may be, I have to face it: It's August now, and summer is half over. Sigh.

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Product Review: Korres Milk Proteins Foaming Cream Cleanser

Korres Milk Proteins Foaming Cream Cleanser

Cleansing oils may be great, but at heart I always love a good sudsy face cleanser. There's something about seeing and feeling a cream or gel lather up that makes me feel like the formula is sweeping away all traces of dirt, oil, and makeup and leaving my face extra clean.

Korres Milk Proteins Foaming Cream Cleanser ($26 at Shoppers Drug Mart) is a recent addition to the "foaming cleansers I have tried and liked" category. This is a gentle but effective formula that falls more on the gentle side. On days where I wear little to no makeup, washing my face with this cleanser once is enough to get everything. If I have a bit more on my face though, I find it doesn't lather as well and I have to wash my face twice. The cleanser's rich foam is gentle enough that I can do so without drying out skin. Bonus points: It's 86.4% natural content and contains willow bark extract, which has mild exfoliation and deep cleansing benefits.

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