Product Review: Mèreadesso Skincare System

When an insider like Mèreadesso skincare founder Linda Stephenson calls BS on the beauty industry, you sit up and listen. Stephenson's resume boasts more than two decades' experience at big-name brands like Johnson & Johnson, Mary Kay, Estee Lauder, and MAC, where her degree in chemistry and botany helped her research and develop new products. I had the privilege of sitting down with Stephenson for lunch a while ago, where I was first introduced to Mèreadesso.

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Toner Up

In the case of Toner vs. No Toner, the jury may still be out, but this beauty lover has come out decidedly in favour. Designed for use after cleansing and before moisturizing, the right toner formula can leave skin feeling extra clean and refine pores over time, all without stripping skin of moisture. Here are three I've tried and liked in the last 6 months.

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Latest Outfit: Summer Dress-ing

Striped summer sun dress

I initially hesitated posting these photos because this outfit is pretty much the same as one from last year, with a few slight accessories tweaks. But then, that's the beauty of a dress like this. It's a timeless and flattering style, an instant outfit, and something to look forward to sporting every summer. I've been wearing this dress about once a week because it's such an easy piece and doesn't even need ironing. Every summer wardrobe should have a frock like this (or three!).

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Giveaway: Win a Sea Therapy Facial at CHI, The Spa at Shangri-La

CHI, The Spa at Shangri-La sign

If yesterday's post about my phenomenal first visit to CHI, The Spa at Shangri-La piqued your interest in the new Sea Therapy Facial treatment, you're in luck! One Solo Lisa reader will win a facial ($195 value) and be able to experience the luxurious facilities at CHI firsthand.

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My Experience at CHI, The Spa at Shangri-La

CHI, The Spa at Shangri-La

CHI, The Spa at Shangri-La is an oasis in the midst of an urban jungle and arguably the most luxurious spa I've ever visited. (And I've visited quite a few Vancouver spas.) I was there last month to try out the Sea Therapy Facial, a new anti-aging treatment which rejuvenates and hydrates skin with certified-organic whole seaweeds, marine minerals, and ocean mud. Hmm spas and seaweed facials—it's a tough gig, but someone has to do it.

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Best of Summer Beauty from P&G

Top summer beauty picks from P&G Beauty

In the streamlined realm of summer beauty, glowing skin and clean, shiny locks go a long way. (Just throw on tinted lip balm, a fresh nail polish colour, and oversize shades and you're good to go!) I've been test-driving and loving these new essentials from P&G Beauty for the last month. Terrific for surviving summer, yes, but also for year-round use.

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Engaged!

Engagement announcement photo

I hereby interrupt the regularly scheduled Monday outfit post programming with a special (and very sentimental) announcement. As you can probably tell, the boy and I got engaged over the weekend! So, um, I guess this is the part where I subject you to photos of the ring and the proposal story.

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ShoeMe.Ca $150 GC Giveaway

Native Shoes 'Verona' Botanical Print Slip-Ons

My eyes love the sight of vertiginous heels—my feet, not so much. In fact, most days you'll find me in flats or low heels, and lately during my evening walks, you'll find me wearing my Native 'Verona' botanical print slip-ons. They're comfy and breathable, good for summer storms or sunny beach days; what's not to love? I got mine directly from the brand, but the good news is that you might be able to score your own (or shoes of your choice) from Canadian shoe e-tailer ShoeMe.ca, who's offering one lucky Solo Lisa reader $150 to spend on their site.

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Latest Outfit: Heat Wave

Grey racerback tank, white eyelet skirt, and red crossbody bag
Stillwater x Style by Kim XO tank (c/o) | Bootlegger Temperance skirt (c/o) | J. Crew belt and sandals | Roots bag (similar) | Ray Ban shades (similar)

My goodness, it's hot right now. As much as I love the pink sunsets, long days, and countless frozen treats of summer, there are some things I don't dig: the sticky, puffy mess I become; how stuffy the condo feels; sweating on public transit to and from work. But over the course of several sweltering summers, I've developed an arsenal of tricks for keeping my cool when the mercury climbs.

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Sun Smarts According to Dermalogica

It's no secret that SPF is necessary to protect skin year-round, but on sunny summer days when the UV index soars the need is even greater. What's more, most people only apply enough sunscreen to achieve 60% of the protection promised on the bottle. One way to amp up your SPF? Layer on sun protection gradually by swapping your regular moisturizer, primer, and makeup for versions with SPF.

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Product Review: LUSH Gorgeous Facial Moisturizer

LUSH Gorgeous Facial Moisturizer

At $85.95, LUSH's Gorgeous Facial Moisturizer is definitely on the pricier end of the Lush products spectrum, but gosh, what a moisturizer. The star ingredient is organic orange blossom honey which, like honey in general, has antiseptic and moisturizing benefits. The rest of the ingredients list is also chock full of natural goodness. Hydration all-stars like organic extra virgin olive oil, cold-pressed avocado oil, and extra virgin coconut oil combine with a slew of citrus juices and oils that tone and brighten.

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Dior Timeless Colour Icons Pre-Fall 2014 Collection

Dior Timeless Colour Icons Pre-Fall 2014 Collection

A bold lip, red nails, a flick of cat eye liner: fashions come and go, but these looks transcend trends. No wonder Dior drew inspiration from them for its first ever pre-fall 2014 beauty collection, appropriately titled "Timeless Colour Icons." These classic shades and limited editions are available exclusively at Holt Renfrew starting July 2014, and let me tell you: it may still be summer, but you're going to want to wear them year round!

Ready for a closer look?

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Latest Outfit: Everyday Saturday

Casual look featuring Kate Spade SATURDAY hoodie
Kate Spade SATURDAY hoodie (on sale!) | Old Navy tee | Banana Republic shorts | Longchamp bag | Maison Birks pearl earrings (c/o) | Native Shoes 'Verona' Botanical Print Slip-Ons (c/o) | Nails: Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy 'Jokers Wild'

I never thought I'd see the day when my outfit photos would feature a hoodie, but then again, I never would've predicted the rise of Birkenstocks and normcore either. This black-and-white number is Kate Spade SATURDAY, composed of contrasting marled textures, and has a surprisingly flattering cut. I'd like to think these are all good reasons for wearing it in public while running weekend errands instead of just lounging around the house (although it's very comfy for that too). Oh, and did I mention it's on sale and perfect for beach days? Win-win-win.

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Product Review: Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Exfoliant

Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Exfoliant

If you're anything like me in your preference for gentle daily cleansers, it's a good idea to do a weekly exfoliation to slough off dead skin cells, keep your skin's tone and texture even, and help lotions absorb better. That's where a product like Dr. Brandt Microdermasion Exfoliant ($90 at London Drugs) comes in handy. The formula—which happens to be a former Allure magazine award winner—combines lactic acid and micro-scrubbing crystals to give you the effects of a professional procedure, but with the convenience and affordability of an at-home treatment.

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