5 Drugstore Face Palettes To Try This Spring

5 face palettes to try this spring from Essence, Pixi, Revlon, and L'Oreal

A new face palette can transform your everyday beauty routine, saving you time and space in your kit as well as refreshing multiple products with just one purchase. What's more, if you go for a drugstore option, buying a palette doesn't have to monopolize all your spring beauty budget dollars. Curious about what the best option might be? I've been testing five palettes in the last couple of weeks and I'm sharing my thoughts on all of them after the jump!

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Things I Bought That I Love: Spring 2017 Wardrobe Additions

I'll be the first to admit that my spring shopping list is a little all over the place and kind of boring. As an aspiring minimalist, I'm favouring a handful of quality items that are in it for the sartorial long haul. Half of these items are meant to replace essentials that have worn out or don't fit anymore, while the other half references this season's trends in a way that still works with my closet's classic yet casual, denim-heavy vibe.

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Product Review: Pixi Skintreats

Pixi Glow Tonic, Pixi Skintreats Vitamin Wakeup Mist, and Pixi Skintreats Peel & Polish

Pixi Beauty has been on my radar for a while, but I haven't had firsthand experience with their products until recently when I was invited to learn more about the brand and walked away with a bag full of samples to test and review. While I haven't gone through everything yet—there was a lot in that goodie bag—I do have a few skincare standouts to share with you today, all of which are available at Shoppers Drug Mart right now.

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Things I Bought That I Love: Dr. Bronner's Soap

Dr. Bronner's 18-in-1 Citrus Pure Castile Soap

Dr. Bronner's soap is probably old news for a lot of you. As someone who's transitioning into green beauty and increasingly curious about natural cleaning solutions though, it has proven to be a total game changer. The bottles would always catch my eye when I was browsing Welk's General Store with their colourful, script-covered labels, but it wasn't until I researched this cult fave at home that I was intrigued enough to buy a bottle of my own.

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My Minimalist Makeup Routine

Minimalist makeup routine

I'm lucky to be able to test so many wonderful beauty products, but when it comes to the day-to-day I rely on nine eight products that fit in a portable makeup pouch to keep me looking polished, groomed, and natural. My rules? These products must be easy and quick to apply, no brushes required (just clean fingers blending on freshly cleansed and moisturized skin, because these days I'm terrible at washing makeup brushes regularly). Longtime readers will recognize a lot of these products, which are a mix of deluxe and drugstore finds; perhaps the more recent readers among you may discover a new favourite to add to your daily five-minute face!

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Solo Lisa Reads: March 2017

I'm so happy to report that since my last book round-up in January, I've continued to read voraciously in the past couple of months. "Love, love, love" seems to be the underlying theme of my latest round-up as my tastes tended towards lighthearted YA and uplifting romances. Here's a look at the books I enjoyed in February and March.

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Weekend Escape To Tofino

Vancouver beauty, life, and style blogger Solo Lisa stares at the waves breaking on the rocks in Tofino, BC, Canada

Between work and blog and the demands of everyday living, the fact that my husband and I haven't been on a proper trip since our mini-moon in Naramata kind of snuck up on us. So when Ford Canada asked us if we'd like to borrow a 2017 Ford Escape for the week, of course the answer was an unequivocal "Yes!", immediately followed by thoughts of where we'd like to road-trip to next while we have the car. (Any excuse for a vacation, right?) We very quickly settled on Tofino as neither of us has ever been and we've both heard how beautiful it is. As we discovered a couple weekends ago, this seaside community located on Vancouver Island has more to offer than just surfing and stellar fish tacos. A photo-heavy look at our Tofino getaway, plus travel tips and our thoughts on the 2017 Ford Escape right after the jump!

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New & Noteworthy: Dior Addict Lacquer Stick

Dior Addict Lacquer Stick in Tease, Turn on Dior, Dark Flower, and Rolling

These days I find myself reaching for sheerer and shinier lip colours that wear like a lip balm as opposed to matte formulas, which is why the newly launched Dior Addict Lacquer Stick ($43) has me so excited. Of Dior's latest lippie collection, Creative and Image Director for Dior Makeup Peter Philips has said, "For this new generation of lacquers, I wanted the comfort of a hydrating balm without compromising on color intensity and shine." The result is a hybrid formula that boasts high shine, full coverage colour, and comfortable wear. Shall we take a closer look?

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Product Review: Natural Deodorants

Natural deodorants by Consonant Body, Leaves of Trees, and Agent Nateur

Thanks to everyone who read last week's green beauty post and took the time to comment! It seems like my research into the world of natural beauty struck a chord with those of you who are interested in greening up your beauty routines, but looking for a balanced, scientific-minded approach at the same time. Today I'm talking about a green beauty subject that's become a minor obsession the past couple of months: natural deodorants. Why should you use one? What are the best ones to try? (Spoiler: I'm reviewing three by Consonant, Leaves of Trees, and Agent Nateur.) All of the details after the jump!

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My 4 Biggest Life Changes Post-KonMari

flatlay featuring succulent, Danica minimalist dip-dyed coasters in bamboo and white, pearl stud earrings, white gold diamond engagement ring, De Beers yellow gold infinity half pave wedding band, Dior Rouge lipstick, Chanel Beige perfume

Happy first day of spring, dear readers! For many of us, this is a time to take stock of our homes and clean, refresh, and de-clutter. This was certainly the mindset I was in two years ago when I picked up The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo and embarked on what would turn out to be the biggest spring-cleaning project of my life. If you haven't hopped on the KonMari bandwagon yet, perhaps this is your season to do it! To inspire you to tackle your own closets and cupboards, here's a little rundown of how it's changed my life for the better in the last two years.

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Lazy Girl Approved: Conair Infiniti Pro The Ultimate Brush

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!

Conair Infiniti Pro The Ultimate Brush

There are girls in this world who willingly wake up an hour early just to wash their hair, then painstakingly dry and style it into pin-straight submission or perfectly tousled waves. Alas, I am not one of them, which means I often roll into work with not-so-artful bedhead-y frizz, a sad ponytail, or a topknot if my hair is long enough for it. If you're anything like me, you'll love the Conair Infiniti Pro The Ultimate Brush ($39.99 at London Drugs) as much as I do.

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My Journey Into Green Beauty

A round-up of natural, organic, and green beauty faves in beauty blogger Solo Lisa's routine (Tata Harper Nourishing Oil Cleanser and Aromatic Stress Treatment; ILIA powder brush, translucent setting powder, and lipstick in 'The Brides'; Leaves of Trees Eucalyptus Mint natural deodorant; Korres Castanea Arcadia Wrinkle Rewind Night Cream; Agent Nateur natural deodorant; Caudalie makeup cleansing oil, Rocky Mountain Soap Co. pomegranate day cream) set on a marble cheese board next to a succulent

Natural beauty and skincare are areas I've always been interested in, but more so from a "As a beauty blogger I'll try anything once" perspective than out of necessity or health concerns. That shifted a couple months ago when I found out I had a large cyst on my left ovary, most likely due to endometriosis; this diagnosis kicked off a journey into green beauty. I started with the goal of reducing my exposure to endocrine disruptors and the toxic load on my body, with the hope that by lessening the number of chemicals and toxins my body's detoxifying systems have to process and filter it'd help my energy levels. Today I'm sharing what I've learned so far in my journey towards a greener beauty routine; hopefully it'll help you and give you some food for thought if you're considering doing the same.

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New & Noteworthy: Givenchy Rouge Interdit Lipstick

Flatlay featuring Chanel black lambskin camellia embossed wallet on chain WOC, black matte J. Crew statement necklace, Givenchy Rouge Interdit red lipstick

When a sample of the new Givenchy Rouge Interdit Satin Lipstick ($40) crossed my beauty blogging desk, I have to confess I was fully prepared not to like it. After all, is there room for yet another luxe lipstick in an already crowded marketplace? The answer, as it turns out, is yes—especially when the packaging details are so thoughtfully executed and the formula wears so superbly. All the details after the jump, plus the scoop on how you can win an exclusive prize from Givenchy Fragrances & Beauty Canada at the bottom of this post!

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Bridal Style: Hair Extensions Q&A With Veronica Gomes

Beach boho bride hairstyles with Veronica Gomes hair extensions

Fine-hair genes, styling damage, trauma, hormones: there are a host of reasons why a girl's hair might not be as long and luxuriant as she wants on her wedding day. Luckily though, hair extensions are a quick and easy way to achieve the tresses of one's dreams. I've never tried extensions myself (I just grew my hair out for my own wedding day updo), but Veronica Gomes wears and works with them all the time. Gomes, a Vancouver-based hairstylist, boasts 12 years of experience and launched an eponymous line of hair extensions last fall featuring 11 shades (including 2 different shades of black, one warmer and one darker), 3 lengths, and 2 quality levels, so it's safe to say she's an extension guru and I learned a lot from this interview. Brides-to-be who are looking for more length or volume, take note!

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Drugstore Delight: EOS Lip Balm

EOS Organic Smooth Spheres lip balms in Sweet Mint and Pomegranate Raspberry

A green beauty routine doesn't always mean paying an arm and a leg or going out of your way to source niche products, and EOS lip balm ($4.29 at London Drugs) is proof positive of that. I remember trying one in a lemony flavour when they first came out; at the time it didn't impress me too much aside from its distinctive egg shape. Either my preferences have evolved or the formula has improved, but when the EOS PR team sent me a full assortment of lip balms to try this winter, I found I really liked them this time around. They're a true Drugstore Delight, especially if you're taking your first baby steps into the world of natural beauty and skincare.

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Product Review: Rocky Mountain Soap Co. & Caudalie Natural Skincare

Rocky Mountain Soap Co. Transformative Cleansing Oil and Hydrating Toner, Caudalie Makeup Removing Cleansing Oil

As I mentioned in a previous post, I've been dealing with some health issues and am hoping that switching over to natural products in my daily routine wherever possible will help. Now, I'm not an extreme green convert who believes conventional lipstick will kill you and there are some regular cosmetics I just can't quit. That being said, I figure if I can green up the skincare and grooming products I use daily, I can still decrease my exposure to endocrine-disrupting ingredients and lessen the overall chemical load on my body's natural detoxification systems (liver, kidneys, digestion, lymph nodes, etc.). Every little bit helps, right?

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New & Noteworthy: Dior Addict Lip Sugar Scrub

Flatlay featuring Dior Addict Lip Sugar Scrub

Just in time for Valentine's Day and inspired by Dior's backstage secrets, Dior Addict Lip Sugar Scrub ($41) is a veritable sweet treat for the lips. It's the product you didn't think you needed, but somehow worms its way into your life and your makeup bag as an essential—and that's saying a lot considering I'm not usually a lip scrub girl.

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Introducing India Rose Cosmeticary

India Rose Cosmeticary storefront office desk

I'm always up for visiting new indie beauty boutiques around the city, so when word of one between the West Side and Arbutus Ridge reached me, of course I was game to check it out. India Rose Cosmeticary had already been open for 8 months by the time I stopped by on one brisk December day, and I was so pleased to discover that its eponymous owner India Daykin is just as charming as her retail space devoted to all things beauty and self care. If you haven't made the trek out to Mackenzie Street to visit India Rose Cosmeticary yourself, here's what you need to know!

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Bridal Style: 6 Easy Ways To Look & Feel Your Best

Vancouver-based beauty, life and style blogger Solo Lisa in a David's Bridal wedding gown in Stanley Park, Vancouver, Canada
Photos by Stephen K. Lee

When I was engaged, one of the most surprising things was how ubiquitous talk of pre-wedding prep could be. There's definitely social pressure to look your best on a day where you'll squeeze into a wedding gown and pose for hundreds of photos and and be the centre of attention. Personally speaking, I wasn't looking to achieve a dramatic before/after transformation, but I did use the wedding as an incentive to change habits for the better. These lifestyle tweaks are common sense even if they're not common practice, they're fairly easy to incorporate, and they'll yield noticeable results if you start from day one of your engagement. Best of all, these are the sorts of habits you'll want to keep up long after the wedding is done.

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Solo Lisa Reads: January 2017

Solo Lisa Reads: January 2017 - reading list including Bloom by Estée Lalonde, Neal's Yard Remedies Beauty Book, Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume, Baby Proof by Emily Giffin

When I was growing up, few things made me happier than a fresh stack of books from the library. But in the last decade or so, between the heavy reading lists in university and the demands of my first full-time job, reading for pleasure often fell by the wayside. That's something I'd like to change going forward as the winter break (and my subsequent bouts of sickness) made me rediscover the joy of picking up a real book. Here are a few I've enjoyed recently. What are you reading?

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Lazy Girl Approved: Pantene Pro-V 3 Minute Miracle Moisture Renewal Deep Conditioner

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!

Pantene Pro-V 3 Minute Miracle Moisture Renewal Deep Conditioner

Who has time to let a hair mask fully penetrate parched strands for 10-15 minutes before rinsing? Not me—most days I'm either showering very quickly post-barre class or before heading to work in the mornings. Luckily for me and other chicas in a rush, Pantene Pro-V 3 Minute Miracle Moisture Renewal Deep Conditioner ($5.98 at London Drugs) delivers the impressive results of a hair mask in considerably less time.

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Product Review: Dr. Teal's Epsom Salt Soak & Foaming Bath In Lavender

Dr. Teal's Epsom Salt Soak & Foaming Bath In Lavender

January is usually a time when many of us hit the gym hard in the name of fitness resolutions, and if you're anything like me, three weeks in your muscles are probably feeling all that exertion and in desperate need of some TLC. This is where a product like Dr. Teal's Epsom Salt Soak & Foaming Bath In Lavender (gift set $7.99 on sale for $3.99 at London Drugs) comes in handy. The sample I received for review was a limited edition boxed holiday gift set with smaller versions of each product, but you can also purchase the full-size epsom salts and foaming bath separately. So how did Dr. Teal's measure up? All the details after the jump!

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Our Wedding

Vancouver beauty, life, and style blogger Solo Lisa gets married in Vancouver, BC, Canada, with a ceremony in Stanley Park and an intimate dinner reception at Chambar.
Photos by Stephen K. Lee

Happy Wednesday, dear readers! I couldn't let January pass without a look back at what was the highlight of my 2016. Our wedding on Saturday September 10, 2016, is a memory I'll always cherish and writing this post brought it all back. Admittedly there are a lot of photos and I practically wrote an essay about my experience of the day at the very end (how self-indulgent of me), but if you scroll waaaaay down you can find a full list of our vendors—just in case you're planning your nuptials and want a little help. Enjoy!

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A Year Of Shopping Minimally

Minimalist capsule wardrobe
Image source: Pinterest

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you've probably seen me describe myself as an "aspiring minimalist" at least once in the last couple years, ever since I tried spring-cleaning with the KonMari method and some strategies for shopping less. One of these strategies was writing down all the non-consumables I purchased so I could better track how much I was spending on what. Looking back on a year's worth of data about my random purchases has been both enlightening and appalling, to say the least, and I'm sharing details today along with pie charts (because yes, I am type A and proud of it) in the hopes it will help you on your journey towards living with less.

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In-Depth Review: Bando Agenda

Bando 17-month 2017 large agenda in pink floral Lady of Leisure pattern

Creating your goals for 2017 is one thing, but actually sticking to them as the year progresses takes organization and planning. While some swear by smartphone apps and Google Calendar I'm more of a pen-and-paper girl myself, especially when there are fun and pretty planners to be had like the Bando Agenda. Last September I made the switch from my Stil Classics Design Love Planner to the large 17-month Bando agenda in 'Lady of Leisure' (a pink floral print) and I've been pretty happy with it so far. All the details after the jump!

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2016 Reflections & 2017 Resolutions

Bando 2017 pink floral 18-month day planner #omgbandoagenda, Russell + Hazel pink and gold desktop calendar, Poppin white pen, Dior lip gloss, Sonix iPhone 6 case, rose gold iPhone, succulent, Anthropologie monogram mug

To everyone reading this: We made it!! 2016 is now behind us and 2017 awaits, fresh and sparkling and full of possibility. As usual, I like to take the first few days of the new year to reflect on the year past and set intentions for the months to come. It's interesting to see that, at this same time last year, I'd just come off a difficult but rewarding 2015 and was anticipating what's next; I feel very much the same right now.

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Happy 2017

Chanel WOC, Ferrero Rocher chocolates, Dior holiday makeup

Wishing you and your loved ones all the best for the new year. Hubs and I are squeezing as much relaxation out of this end-of-year holiday as possible and heading to Harrison Hot Springs on New Year's Day, but I'll be back to blogging later this week. See you in a few days!

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