Best Of Blog 2014

Hello and happy Monday, everyone! I hope you've been enjoying your holidays as much as I have. The past few days have passed in a haze of indulgence and sweet nothingness: eating, drinking Bailey's spiked hot chocolate and coffee, spending time with friends and family, hosting a waffle brunch, salsa dancing, watching movies, going for long aimless walks...I can't remember the last time I was this relaxed. I'm at work for the next couple of days and then off again from January 1-4. Until the blog returns to its regular posting schedule in 2015, here's a look at some of my favourite posts from the past year.

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Season's Greetings

In the spirit of the holidays, I want to thank each and every one of you who've supported this blog in some way.

Wishing you love, laughter, and good cheer all-around.

xoxo Lisa

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Last Minute Holiday Beauty Inspiration

Still stumped about your holiday hair and makeup looks, or searching for NYE inspo? I delved into last year's archives and came up with a few ideas to get you started, from a dramatic glitter-infused liner look to tutorials for braided updos and a glam blowout. Click the photos to go directly to the posts!

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Favourite Outfits of 2014

Holiday casual in all black with a classic trench and tartan blanket scarf

I'm winding down the year with a little blogging break so I can fully immerse myself in holiday festivities, and enjoy time with friends and family! In the meantime, here's a look back at my favourite style posts of 2014. My style has simplified signficantly compared to previous years—whether because of busy schedules or the influence of normcore, I can't decide. Click the photos to jump directly to the posts. Enjoy and happy Monday!

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Last Minute Gift Idea: A LUSH-ful Christmas

1. Butterfly hydrating treats ($14.95) | 2. Good Tidings soothing skin-saving selection ($79.95) | 3. Happy Christmas creations for cheery winter showers ($49.95) | 4. Little Snow Fairy sweet treats ($13.95) | 5. Relax soothing lavender luxury ($28.95)

For many years of my young life, LUSH was the gift of choice when guys were stumped about what to get girls. In high school, boys invited to girls' birthday parties and Secret Santa get-togethers would pick up an assortment of bath bombs as a gift; their scent wafted through the telltale black-and-white bag. When I was in university and got my first job working retail at a toy store, my former boss would buy us all pre-wrapped LUSH sets as gifts, along with a yardstick of Purdy's chocolates and a nice little bonus tucked into a Christmas card.

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All Gold Everything

The warmth of gold is lovely year-round, but during the holiday season it takes on a particularly festive allure. I loved the gold gift guide I did last year so much, I decided to do another one featuring a fresh crop of gilt-y pleasures.

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Papyrus Gift Guide (Plus Giveaway!)

Just off the busy intersection of Robson Burrard, the newly opened Papyrus store (765 Burrard St.) in downtown Vancouver is a veritable treasure trove of paper goods and neat gift ideas. I was invited to check out the store last Monday and do a little shopping myself and curate a gift guide. Well, you can imagine how with this stationery geek, "a little shopping" turned into 2 hours of serious browsing and indecision.

Aside from the stylish social stationery and paper goods for which Papyrus is rightly renowned, they also carry an extensive array of Crane & Co. cards, Kate Spade office supplies, and the best collection of ban.do merchandise I've ever seen in Vancouver. Add to that home decor, bath and body products, candles, jewelry, photo frames, books, products for kids and babies..and well, it was pretty hard to narrow it down to what you see here. Details (plus a giveaway) after the jump!

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Latest Outfit: Sparkly & Bright

Holiday party outfit: little black lace dress
H&M dress (similar) | Swarovski earrings & bracelet (c/o) | Saint Laurent 'Belle de Jour' clutch (similar) | Madewell heels | Lips: Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy 'Confident'

Between Christmas presents and saving for next year's wedding, I've been trying my best to shop my closet when it comes to holiday party looks. That meant this oldie-but-a-goodie little black dress made an appearance when the boy and I went for a romantic dinner Saturday night. Its classic style and versatile silhouette can be dressed up in a number of ways, but this time around, I was really eager to pair it with my new Swarovski baubles and particularly the earrings. The leaf-shaped stones swirled with my every movement and complemented the lace pattern of my dress; they really make a statement with their sparkle and glimmer of blue! They're pretty much the perfect statement earring for the holiday season and—dare I say it—the "something blue" on a bride's wedding day.

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Gift Guide: Let's Stay Home

I don't know if it's because I've been working so much or sick so frequently, or if it's because the weather has been inordinately cold/rainy/windy/all of the above. Whatever it is, lately all I seem to want to do is stay at home curled under a throw with hot tea and Netflix. This gift guide is full of unique picks that will make your apartment or house just a bit cozier, cheerier, more comforting. And hey, as long as you're spending the night at home, you might as well indulge in a beauty ritual while your favourite Christmas movie is playing in the background.

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15 Gift Ideas Under $15

15 gift ideas under $15

Of all the gift guides I did last year, the runaway favourite was by far the $10 gift guide. I still stand by last year's picks, but this year I decided to increase the price point a tad to highlight finds that are too good not to share. Consider yourself covered for Secret Santas, stocking stuffers, hostess gifts, and presents for coworkers.

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My Skoah Holiday Facial Experience

1. Limited edition holiday trio ($40) | 2. Skoah's minimalist treatment rooms | 3. The glowing, makeup-free "after" selfie | 4. Give someone the gift of year-round pampering: the skin gym membership provides a lucky recipient with 6 facials for $400.

Quick, hands up if you can use: a) a facial; b) a massage; c) some serious "me" time; or d) all of the above. Have I got your attention? Good, because I'm about to tell you that the new Holiday Facial ($80; available for a limited time until December 24th) at Skoah seriously delivers on all fronts. I was invited to try the Holiday Facial—which combines a typical Skoah facial with a hand exfoliation and upper body massage—last week, and I can definitely attest to the sheer bliss that followed.

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Latest Outfit: The Perfect "Get Stuff Done" Holiday Look

Holiday casual in all black with a classic trench and tartan blanket scarf

Sometimes a girl needs a look that lets her roll out of bed and out the door in less than half an hour, and that's especially true during the holiday season when a hectic schedule might shift into overdrive with shopping, parties, and entertaining. I wore this while running errands yesterday when it was unseasonably warm and thought to myself, Now this is "effortlessly put together." The black sweater dress and leggings were as comfy as my favourite flannel PJs, while the trench and tartan blanket scarf kept me cozy without letting me overheat. Berry lips, tassel loafers, and a luxe handbag finished the look with just a touch more polish.

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Lise Watier Aurora Winter 2014 Collection

Lise Watier Aurora Winter 2014 Collection

I'm going to go out on a limb and say I didn't really love the latest seasonal collection from Lise Watier. Yes, the formulas and textures are top notch as always and the blue glitter swirl palettes (meant to evoke the shimmering light of the aurora borealis) are limited editions. But it's the holiday season, which means all the makeup and skincare brands are bringing out their A game in the form of blockbuster gift sets and luxe palettes that inspire unspeakable lust at first sight. There are hits in the Aurora collection (I'm going to talk about two of them right after the jump!), but there are near-misses too.

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Stila Holiday 2014 & 20th Anniversary Collections

Stila Magnificent Metals 20th anniversary collection

Oh Stila, you really know how to celebrate! Just in time for the holiday 2014 season and their 20th anniversary, Stila cosmetics has launched some truly lovely limited editions. From a collaboration with Bauble Bar to gorgeous eyeshadow palettes dressed in metallics, here are the items sure to shoot to the top of beauty lovers' wishlists (or tempt you to keep them for yourself!).

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Latest Outfit: Getting Festive With Bootlegger

Holiday party ready in slouchy trousers, stiletto booties and a patterned top
Bootlegger top, pants, and necklace (c/o) | Prada booties (old, but these Saint Laurent ones are just as classic) | Lipstick: Tom Ford 'Bruised Plum'

Well, here it is, the second part of my collaboration with Bootlegger! This time around, participating bloggers were asked to style a holiday party look using some of the dressier pieces from the store's offerings. Their holiday Temperance collection is gorgeous as usual (I wore one of their dresses to the boy's office Christmas party last year), but this time around I found myself being more drawn to the effortless chic of a dressy top and slouchy trousers. With suede stiletto booties the look is dressy enough for a party at a downtown hotel, but it's also just as appropriate for a low-key dinner party at home. The necklace picks up on the gold and sequin details in the patterned top, and adds just enough sparkle for a festive vibe.

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