My Current Home Facial Routine

At-home facial routine featuring products from Caudalie, Philosophy, Pixi, Fresh Beauty, The Face Shop, L'Oreal

Most days I tend to skip wearing makeup, but that's partly because I take my skincare very seriously. Since returning from Italy, I've tweaked my twice-weekly at-home facial routine so that it's geared towards making my skin as glow-y and radiant as possible, all while minimizing scars from old blemishes, redness, congested/enlarged pores, and any sun damage incurred from being careless with SPF on hot summer days. The products featured here have been talked about ad nauseum on the blog (and some of them look embarassingly empty in this post!). However, at the same time, isn't it reassuring that that a beauty blogger with access to countless samples would keep returning to these tried-and-true faves? These products work, and in the weeks of following this routine I've noticed a marked improvement.

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Lazy Girl Approved: Olay Luminous Brightening & Protecting Lotion With Sunscreen SPF 30

Lazy Girl Approved highlights long-lasting, goof-proof, fuss-free products that can fit into the most minimalist of regimens. If you consider yourself a low-maintenance beauty lover, these product reviews are for you!

Olay Luminous Brightening & Protecting Lotion With Sunscreen SPF 30

My Lazy Girl approach to beauty has always been to take care of my skin and go easy on the makeup. Often that means my medicine cabinet is cluttered with countless mists, toners, serums, and lotions for every occasion. While that works very well when I'm at home, traveling is another story altogether. My strategy? Streamline my skincare as much as possible and opt for multi-taskers like Olay Luminous Brightening & Protecting Lotion With Sunscreen SPF 30.

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Empties: October 2017

Empty beauty and skincare and bodycare products featuring Almay, Avene, Pantene, Saje, Rocky Mountain Soap Co, Annabelle, Lise Watier, Herbal Essences, Crabtree & Evelyn, Leaves of Trees, Tata Harper, Estee Lauder, L'Oreal, Cover Girl

Reflecting on this latest batch of empties is a bit like a greatest hits and misses retrospective of summer. Some have been featured on the blog previously (in which case I have an opportunity to revisit my previous opinions—yay!) and some are new to this post. Let's dive in, shall we?

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New & Noteworthy: Rouge Dior Liquid Lipstick

Rouge Dior Liquid Lipstick in 424 Hypnotic Matte, 979 Poison Metal, 427 Delicate Satin

While we were in Italy, at home in Vancouver everyone seems to have fast-forwarded from summer patio parties right into the depths of fall. I returned from my trip and its exhilarating highs only to feel as though I'd fallen in a time warp. My surefire ways to snap into the spirit of things after two weeks away and a long flight home? Take a long shower and do a body scrub, followed by a pampering at-home skincare routine. Pick up a few decorative gourds and fresh blooms for the condo. And last but certainly not least, re-assess my makeup routine, switching from a minimal summer regimen that relies on a tan and glossy pink or coral lips to something more dramatic and polished. Luckily, samples of the newly launched Rouge Dior Liquid Lipstick ($43) landed on my beauty desk right before I departed on my trip. I can already tell they'll be a go-to as we head into a new season and I begin embracing all things autumn.

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Off To Italy!

Wedding day photo

All roads lead to Rome. The month before I turned 25 on September 25th, I briefly contemplated doing something wild and crazy to celebrate my champagne birthday and landed on going to Rome by myself. That trip never happened. Instead I stayed in town and planned a huge party at which I got very drunk. Lawrence, the sweet guy I'd met through salsa dancing and only started dating the week before, showed up at my doorstep to pick me up on the night of the party wearing his best blue shirt and holding a dozen red roses. Fast forward through our relationship, from dating to buying a condo and moving in together, our engagement, getting married last year. Now here we are, both of us heading to Italy for the first time for our honeymoon. Funny how things come full circle, isn't it? I'm so happy and grateful that I ended up taking this "8-year detour" and I'll be seeing the Eternal City for the first time with my love by my side.

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Drugstore Delight: L'Oreal Pure-Clay Skincare

L'Oreal Pure-Clay Masks & Cleansers

September is often dubbed "the other January" because it's a fresh chance for us to tackle goals as we return to school and work. But as stress accumulates over the coming weeks our skin will probably crave a little TLC, especially when summer tans fade and the damage wrought by pollution and sun starts to reveal itself. The good news? You don't have to spend a mint to get effective skincare that works as the L'Oreal Pure-Clay line proves. This collection of masks and cleansers is formulated to tackle a wide variety of concerns and features a trio of clays (Kaolin, Montmorillonite, and Moroccan) as the hero ingredients. I've been testing them on and off since they crossed my beauty desk earlier this summer—I have my favourites and I'm sure if you try them, you'll have the formulas you're partial to as well. All the details after the jump!

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Dior Fall 2017 Metallics Collection

Dior Metallics Fall 2017 Collection

Despite the fact that Labour Day weekend was unseasonably warm in Vancouver, my thoughts have already turned to fall. September has always been my favourite month of the year: it's the month of my birthday, when Hubs and I started dating eight years ago, and this year we're also celebrating our first wedding anniversary(!) on Sunday. Aside from the personal and sentimental reasons, I just love the richness of the hues in makeup collections at this time of year. Case in point? The Dior Metallics Fall 2017 collection, which according to creative and image director Peter Phillips is a collection of "vibrant metallics and muted mattes." In other words, there's something for everyone whether you're craving drama or subtlety this season. I've got a few samples to show you after the jump!

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Empties: August 2017

Round-up of empty and used beauty and skincare products for August 2017

I can't believe it's been three months since my last empties post! Since I decided to start doing these round-ups, I've been much better about saving my empty packaging and taking notes on each product in my bullet journal. Here's what I've gone through.

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Drugstore Delight: Pixi Sheer Cheek Gel And Gel Tint & Silk Gloss

Pixi by Petra Sheer Cheek Gels and GelTint & SilkGloss

No matter what time of year it is, I firmly believe a little colour on the lips or cheeks goes a long way in bringing life and energy to one's complexion, which is why I was so delighted by some of the recent Pixi Beauty samples to arrive at Solo Lisa headquarters. These are not new launches nor are they limited editions, but considering Pixi has only been available Canada-wide at Shoppers Drug Mart since January, they still feel pretty new here north of the 49th parallel!

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Recent Givenchy Launches

Recent 2017 Givenchy beauty launches including: Prisme Libre loose powder Couture Edition, Le Rouge Couture Edition, Le Rouge Sculpt in 01 Sculpt'n Roge, Le Rouge in Pourpre Edgy, Noir Interdit Mascara

One of the unfortunate side effects of being chronically ill, having surgery and returning after a hiatus, and getting back in Bar Method is that I'm way behind on all of my blogging, including talking about some of the products that Givenchy has launched so far in 2017. I have no idea what the Canadian availability of the limited editions is at the moment, but I did find them all listed on the American Sephora website so that's a hopeful sign. Beauty lovers, here's what's new and noteworthy from Givenchy this year!

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Bar Method Post-Surgery (Plus An Intro Offer For You!)

Flat lay featuring pink and purple special edition Bar Method socks and air plants

Exactly two months ago I underwent a minimally invasive laparascopic surgery, but let's face it, even minor surgery is still surgery. Thanks to Bar Method though, the 4-6 week recovery process was quicker and more painless than expected. You've probably heard me talk about Bar Method on the blog time and again, and if you haven't tried it yet (or you tried ages ago and haven't been back since) I have an amazing offer for you at the end of this post!

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Product Review: Rocky Mountain Soap Co. Soothing Shampoo & Conditioner

Product Review: Rocky Mountain Soap Co. all-natural Soothing Shampoo and Conditioner in vanilla coconut scent

In my journey towards a greener beauty routine I've been going for a natural-ish approach. My rough rule-of-thumb is to try to avoid endocrine disruptors and go for natural formulas whenever possible, especially for anything I use over large areas of skin that's absorbed like moisturizer, skincare, lip balm, and so on, but I wouldn't stress out too much if I occasionally strayed into conventional products, especially when it came to colour cosmetics and cleansers. That said, I've been curious about natural shampoo and conditioner for a while. Do they really work? Are they worth the hype? Would they be as effective as what I could buy at the drugstore or salon? I got the chance to find out firsthand when Rocky Mountain Soap Co. sent me their Soothing Shampoo and Soothing Conditioner ($15.50 each) in the vanilla coconut scent.

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New & Noteworthy: Caudalie Vinoperfect Concentrated Brightening Essence

Caudalie Vinoperfect Concentrated Brightening Essence and Caudalie Vinoperfect Complexion Correcting Radiance Serum

If there's anything that'll create dark spots quickly on your skin it's sun and oxidative stress brought on by pollution, so needless to say the hot, hazy and humid conditions Vancouver's been experiencing lately have been less to kind to complexions. But beyond that, I find that as summer transitions to fall and tans begin to fade, dark spots and unevenness start appearing—evidence of less-than-stellar SPF habits. Thank goodness for products like the new Caudalie Vinoperfect Concentrated Brightening Essence ($50 at BeautyMark), which is designed to be used in conjunction with their cult-fave Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum ($89 at BeautyMark). Combined, these products effectively yet gently brighten, lighten, and even out the skin, relying on naturals-heavy formulas to do so.

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Minimalist Style: Matt & Nat x Indigo

Minimalist style #ootd featuring striped cold shoulder Massimo Dutti dress with ruffle sleeves, #MattandNatxIndigo millennial pink mauve limited edition clutch, white Birkenstock Gizeh sandals, Dior Addict Lip Tattoo 451, tortoiseshell cat-eye Ray Ban sunglasses

These days I gravitate towards easy-to-wear pieces that combine fashion and function, and if they streamline my routine, all the better. Case in point? This gorgeous 'Maya' wallet from the Matt & Nat x Indigo collection (now available at Indigo stores and through indigo.ca), which has integrated into my daily life seamlessly ever since I received it for review.

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Summer Sunscreens On Rotation

Sunscreen round-up featuring: Aveeno Baby Face sunscreen stick SPF 50, Eau Thermale Avene SPF 50+ spray, Dermalogica SPF 50 Sport, Rocky Mountain Soap Co. SPF 31

Whatever your preferences are (Spray, solid, or lotion? Mineral or chemical? Drugstore or high-end?), the trick to making a habit of wearing sunscreen regularly is finding a formula that you'll love using and re-applying. Here are four I've been using lately.

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P&G Summer Beauty Faves

P&G summer beauty faves

During the dog days of summer, there are a few things that can make the heat bearable: face mists, iced coffee, air conditioning at the office, a refreshing shower. My latest beauty mail delivery from P&G Beauty United featured a couple of drugstore delights that have made their way into my summer shower routine and helped me feel fresh in spite of the high temperatures.

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4 Face Mists I'm Loving

Summer face mists and sprays: Eau Thermale Avene, Pixi Skintreats Vitamin Wakeup Mist, Caudalie Grape Water, Wake Up Your Face by Whiffcraft

Face mists and sprays have been an integral part of this summer's beauty routine, whether it's a morning or mid-afternoon pick-me-up, a spritz after a hot and sweaty walk outside, or just a refreshing moment in my condo (which doesn't have air conditioning). The ones I'm sharing with you today are at least half-empty—that's how much I've been using them—and three out of four have been featured on the blog before. But hey, if I'm still gushing about them after all this time and usage they must be good! The other great thing about these mists is that the price tags hover around the $20 mark or lower. I find I don't use face mists as often when they're very expensive ones, and really, what good is a mist when you're not using it liberally to cool down and hydrate whenever you want to?

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And I'm Back!

Summer #ootd with Breton stripes, Panama hat, cat-eye tortoiseshell shades, and denim shorts

Hello and happy August, dear readers! Thanks for bearing with me while I got my health sorted out. Here's what's been going on with me the last six weeks or so.

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On A Personal Note

Sitting and reading The Handmaid's Tale on an urban oasis condo patio

As some of you know, I've been dealing with some chronic health issues since last August. It's nothing fatal, thank goodness, but it does mean that some weeks I'm bursting with energy and crossing everything off on my to-do list, while other weeks I have all the energy of a used tea bag and it's all I can do to drag myself from the bed to the couch and back again. Thankfully there is an end in sight for the up-and-down misery: I'm going into surgery today and after that (fingers crossed) I'll feel a lot better.

I'll be taking a few weeks off from blogging to relax and recuperate post-surgery, but if you miss me, there's always Instagram! Thanks as always for your support and for continuing to read and visit this little corner of cyberspace. See you soon!

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Solo Lisa Tries: Pur Water Filter Pitcher

Pur water filtration pitcher and water filter system

Drinking more water helps your health in more ways than one: it replenishes fluids in muscles and tissues throughout the day and post-workout; it satisfies your thirst, which can sometimes be mistaken for hunger and cause you to inadvertently eat more than you need; it alleviates signs of dehydration like fatigue, brain fog, and headaches. I'm lucky to live in a municipality with great-tasting, safe drinking water straight from the tap, and there's filtered water at the office and the barre studio. But if that's not the case where you live, getting your required eight glasses a day becomes more challenging. The solution? Perhaps something like the Pur Water Filter Pitcher ($29.99 at London Drugs).

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In-Depth Review: Vancity Subscription Box

Vancity Subscription Box

I'm lucky to live in an area full of indie boutiques, but for those of us who don't have the time to window-shop in Mt. Pleasant or live too far away, there is a solution! Enter Vancity Box, a new subscription box service that spotlights Vancouver makers. Marketed as "the city in a box" and "a farmer's market in a box," each month's curated selection aims to introduce subscribers to new-to-them labels and products from the Lower Mainland. The Vancity Box format previously featured one maker's wares at a time, but starting April of this year, this switched things up by offering a hodgepodge of products from different artisans. Here's what was in the April 2017 box I received for review.

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Solo Lisa Reads: June 2017

Solo Lisa Reads: June 2017 book review round-up #indigofaves

Happy Monday, dear readers! We're heading into summer now, and even though the weather in Vancouver hasn't exactly been sunny, the season still calls for a breezy beach read or two. Whether you're lounging poolside or headed to a coffee shop to while away a rainy afternoon, these books will make the leisurely hours and minutes just fly by.

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New & Noteworthy: Dermalogica Stress Positive Eye Lift

Dermalogica Stress Positive Eye Lift

I don't know if it's age or long hours spent in front of the computer, but lately by the time 5pm hits my face seems to look as tired and haggard as I feel. My eyes feel it especially: The area all around the eyeballs gets tense and I feel as though I'm going bug-eyed, while the undereye area looks distinctly puffier and darker than when I left the house in the morning. If you're in the same boat as I am, the new Dermalogica Stress Positive Eye Lift ($90; available at BeautyMark) just might be the answer to your prayers. All the details after the jump!

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Paul & Joe Beauty Spring/Summer 2017

Paul & Joe Beauty Spring/Summer 2017 limited edition collection

Any beauty brand that unabashedly leans into the feminine and whimsical as much as Paul & Joe does scores high points in my books. The packaging details are always so adorable, so girly, and so cat-laden that I want to be won over, even if sometimes the products don't perform as well as I'd like them to. There were definitely hits and misses among the the spring/summer 2017 limited edition samples I received for review. You can find all of these products at Shoppers Drug Mart (except for the Pearl Foundation Primer, which sadly seems to be sold out everywhere). All the details after the jump!

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Product Review: Rodial Super Fit Bodycare

Rodial Super Fit Bodycare

I go to Bar Method classes regularly and I've been keeping up the healthy lifestyle habits I developed while prepping for our wedding: eating healthier, drinking more water, sleeping more, and paying attention to self-care. But sometimes good habits aren't enough, which is why I was curious about slimming and toning lotions and potions like those by Rodial Super Fit Bodycare (available at Shoppers Drug Mart nationwide). Do they really work? All the details after the jump!

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Solo Lisa Tries: Tata Harper Total Complexion Reset Treatment

Tata Harper products displayed on a marble board, in front of an orchid, on a white table

I've long been a fan of Tata Harper's effective, all-natural products and Kathryn Sawers's work at Collective Skincare, so when I was invited to try out Collective's new Tata Harper Total Complexion Reset Treatment a couple weeks ago it felt like kismet. Launching in June, this facial is a 100% natural multi-acid peel that promises no pain, no redness, and no downtime—just an insane glow and visible improvements in skin's overall brightness, tone, and texture. So did this treatment deliver on all of its dramatic claims? What did it feel like? And how did my skin react afterward? All the details after the jump!

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Solo Lisa Reads: #Canada150 Edition

#CanLit #Canada150 Solo Lisa Reads picks

Justin Trudeau is the Internet's boyfriend, the country is celebrating a big birthday this year (150 years!), and some of our most celebrated books are now the basis of buzzworthy TV shows. Canada is definitely having a moment in pop culture right now and there's no better time to dip into some classic Canadian literature. I've rounded up some of my favourites here if you want to #ReadtheNorth and don't know where to start!

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Bridal Style: Q&A With Event Planner Susanna Stewart

Table setting with florals, mercury glass votive candle holders, custom sugar cookies, and gold flatware designed by Susanna Stewart events

I loved planning our wedding, but did I love every step of the process? Not really, and ours was relatively small and simple (park ceremony, restaurant reception, 60-70 guests). I can't even imagine how overwhelming it must be to put together an event from scratch on a much bigger scale, or how daunting of a process wedding planning can be if you feel as though you're the only bride-to-be who's lacking the organization gene! Luckily, professional planners like Susanna Stewart Events are here to save the day. I caught up with Susanna recently and asked about her passion for event and wedding planning, as well as tips for brides-to-be on how to choose and work with a planner and how to de-stress before the big day. More after the jump!

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In-Depth Review: Harry's Shave Set

Harry's Winston shave kit

I'm pretty knowledgeable about beauty and grooming products intended for women, but when it comes to the guys sometimes I'm clueless. In fact, until Harry's reached out to me to see if my husband would be interested in trying their razors and men's grooming products, I didn't even realize how expensive a single razor cartridge could be. Luckily for the fellas, online shaving subscription services like Harry's are changing the game. If you're a guy who's looking for a close shave at a better price or you're looking for a Father's Day gift idea, you're going to want to bookmark this review!

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Things I Bought That I Love: The Laundress Wool & Cashmere Spray

The Laundress Wool & Cashmere Spray

As longtime readers know, I've been trying to green up my routine, whether it's my beauty regimen, household cleaning, or switching to natural deodorant. What I didn't realize was that the super-effective deodorizing spray I was currently using to freshen up coats, sweaters, and scarves between dry-cleanings was already the greener, gentler alternative. Yes, I'm talking about The Laundress Wool & Cashmere Spray.

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Introducing Dior Addict Lip Tattoo

Dior Addict Lip Tattoo

It's easy to become addicted to Dior when they keep knocking it out of the park with their beauty launches. The latest review samples to cross my beauty blogging desk? Three shades of the new Dior Addict Lip Tattoo ($36), a pigmented lip colour that feels like barely anything on the lips and promises up to 10 hours of continuous wear. All the details after the jump!

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Decorating With Plants 101

Coffee table succulent garden
Succulent garden on the coffee table

Plants have made a huge comeback in the world of home decor, and there are plenty of good reasons why. They add soothing greenery and texture to interior spaces, they clean the air, and they're more budget-friendly than weekly trips to the florist for fresh-cut blooms. But which plants should you get? How do you care for them? And if you're a gardening newbie, how do you stop yourself from killing them? I'm still figuring out the answers to all of these questions myself, but as someone who's just jumped on the plant bandwagon recently, I'm sharing what I've learned so far after the jump!

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Empties: May 2017

Flatlay of all the products reviewed below

I test and feature a lot of beauty products, but in real life I use up more samples than I have time to write about in great depth. For a while I did quick reviews of empties on Instagram. That quickly fell by the wayside, so I'm going to take a page out of other beauty bloggers' books and start doing empties round-ups here.

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Drugstore Delight: Pantene Daily Moisture Renewal Shampoo & Conditioner

Pantene Daily Moisture Renewal Shampoo & Conditioner

Before I started transitioning into green beauty, my standby for shampoo and conditioner was always Pantene. I knew that if the bottle said "Pantene" and had any combination of the words "moisture," "anti-frizz," or "smoothing" on it, I was guaranteed shiny, soft, healthy-looking locks. Such was the case with the newly reformulated Pantene Daily Moisture Renewal Shampoo & Conditioner ($6.49 on sale for $5.99 at London Drugs), which I received for review and couldn't resist taking for a spin.

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