Beyond P!nk Conference

Sponsored by Young Women in Business (YWiB), the Beyond P!nk business conference (November 13-14, 2009) invites young female students, graduates, and professionals for two days of inspirational speakers and workshops. Join 349 other driven young women to hear such speakers as:

  • Patricia Graham: Editor-in-Chief, The Vancouver Sun
  • Christopher Flett: Founder, Ghost CEO & Author of “What Men Don’t Tell Women About Business: Opening Up the Heavily -Guarded Alpha Male Playbook”
  • Allison Mack: Actress, Smallville
  • Smart Cookies: the hosts of a new TV show on the W Network and the authors of “The Smart Cookies Guide to Making More Dough”
  • Judy and Devon Brooks: Founders of ‘Blo’ Blow Dry Bar
  • Melody Biringer: Foundress of Crave Company
Event highlights include a gala, an all-male panel session, a mentor luncheon, and the Connect! tradeshow.

For more information, visit the event website. Register today! Tickets are on sale until October 30th, 2009 (that's this Friday, so hop to it!).

Product Review: Borghese Crema Saponetta Cleansing Creme

It's that time of year again: with the wind and cold outside, and the heat on full blast inside, a lot of us will experience dry, irritated skin. Borghese Crema Saponetta Cleansing Creme ($32.50) seems like a cleanser that can rise to the challenge of combating winter skin troubles by cleansing without overdrying. With chamomile, rosewood, geranium, and cypress, this cleanser promises to deeply cleanse while remaining gentle, improving skin tone, and decreasing inflammation and redness. I received my product in the form of a 29 ml sample tube a while back and have been using it during my travels, my full-size Garnier cleanser being too big to pack.

The sample tube proved to be more than enough product. Although instructions recommend using a dime-size portion to cleanse your face and throat, I found that a small dab was more than enough for my face alone. The creme had a pleasant orange scent and lathered extremely well, forming a rich foam that I massaged on my face. Overall it did an adequate job of cleansing. It definitely didn't dry out my skin, but I didn't see any visible improvements in my skin tone either. Moreover, the creme's richness made it difficult to rinse it off entirely without some scrubbing and left me feeling like I had residue on my face--not quite the same squeaky clean I get with my trusty Garnier cleanser. On the flip side, its emollient properties would probably make the Borghese cleansing creme ideal for dry or sensitive skin. I'm going to keep using my sample as my travel cleanser, but I don't think I'm going to buy a full-sized tube anytime soon.

What's your favourite facial cleanser?

Stylish Thought Of The Day

Style and comfort need not be mutually exclusive. Last week, a coworker reminded me of this when she showed up to a morning meeting looking oh so chic in a sweater dress, tights, low-heeled boots, and matching statement earrings and necklace. When I complimented her, she enthused, "This is the most comfortable outfit ever! Everybody this morning has been telling me I look so good, but it feels like I'm at home in my pajamas. And it was the easiest thing to just slip on a dress instead of putting on a top and jeans." Then she grinned and said, "I think I might wear this every day this winter."

When you think about this, it makes sense. Sweater dresses and tights are stretchy and warm, whereas even the most comfortable jeans can feel constricting if you've had a big lunch or you're sitting at your desk for long periods of time. The next time I feel the urge to dress down, I think I might take my cue from my coworker and don a sweater dress/tights/boots ensemble.

Legwear 101

This season, I resolve to wear skirts and dresses more often instead of resorting to jeans all the time. As cute as skirt/dress ensembles can be, though, the most important part of any cold weather outfit is whether it will keep you warm! One way to make sure you stay toasty is legwear--tights and leggings to be exact. If you're new to layering legwear under skirts, read on for a primer on some of the major snags you'll encounter and how to solve them. Enjoy!

Problem: Your legwear doesn't keep you warm.
Solution: When shopping, look for opaque tights with high denier counts rather than sheer ones, and opt for leggings made of artificial fibre blends (like nylon) rather than cotton and spandex. Alternatively, layer a pair of leggings on top of a pair of tights. I tried this trick last winter and the results were fantastically windproof.

Shown: BDG long legging ($24), UO sheer tights ($12)

Problem: Your skirt bunches up when you walk.
Solution: Your skirt is most likely bunching up because you're wearing two knit textures which are rubbing together when you walk (e.g. cotton leggings and a sweater dress). To keep your skirt from riding up, make sure that one element of your outfit has a smooth texture. Pair knit or cotton frocks with tights or leggings that are made of nylon or rayon and smooth to the touch. Wear skirts that have a silky built-in slip with knit leggings.

Problem: You're bored with the tights you own, but your budget prevents you from splurging on lots of new pairs.
Solution: Try getting a pair of black lacy or fishnet tights, or a pair of slashed leggings, to layer over your coloured tights. If you own a lot of black tights or tights in dark colours, get them in white instead.

Problem: Whenever you wear tights, your feet tend to slip out of your pumps when you walk.
Solution: As gross as this may sound, leather shoes stay on your feet partly because the leather adheres to your bare skin when you sweat--something which doesn't happen when you wear tights and slip your pumps on. Opt for shoes with ankle or T straps which will stay put on your feet. If you want to keep wearing your slip-on pumps and flats, try pairing them with stirrup tights.

What are your style resolutions for fall and winter? If you're a fan of tights and leggings, do you have any special tricks to make them extra comfy and stylish in layered ensembles?

Solo Lisa In Flare Magazine

It's true!

I'm on page 81 alongside my Stylefinds editor, Shallom--do you see us at the bottom of the page? (Click the image to enlarge.) Seriously, shameless self-promotion aside, you should go out and get a copy of this month's Flare. I'm going to have to sit down and read this one cover-to-cover like I did with the September issue: my brief skim-through revealed some beautiful editorials, as well as helpful articles about skin care and how to turn self-criticism around into a positive force.

Today's Outfit: Champagne Brunch In Vegas

Vegas was fairly fun in its own right, but I don't think I'll be returning anytime soon. The dry desert air, coupled with pollution and the artificial fragrance piped into the hotels, wreaked more havoc on my health than a night of partying ever could. This is me during a non-coughing moment on my way to champagne brunch at the Paris Hotel with the girls. I was so excited to wear this dress after buying it at the premium outlets.

So, will you hear anything more about my Vegas trip on this blog or see other photos? Um, no. You know the saying: "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas."
  • Sunglasses (Chanel)
  • Necklace (Coach)
  • Dress (Juicy Couture)
  • Clutch (Chanel)
  • Sandals (Sterling)
P.S. While I was away, one of my friends alerted me to the fact that there's a photo of me in the November issue of FLARE magazine! I'll try to get my hands on a copy.

Today's Outfit: Featuring My New Francis Skirt!

Once again, I have WendyB to thank for hooking me up with my new Francis fall 2009 goodies! The mixed menswear pleated skirt turned out to be a little loose in the waist, but it was nothing a quick trip to the tailor couldn't fix. The wool fabrication is super warm yet light, and I love how the pleats in this skirt move and swish when I walk. I still haven't worn the sleeveless argyle applique shift I got in the same order, but I promise I'll post photos when I do! In the meantime, is it bad that I haven't even worn this dress yet and I'm already dreaming of what I'd like from the spring 2010 collection?

  • Turtleneck sweater (Jacob)
  • Skirt (Francis)
  • Tights (H&M)
  • Boots (Aldo)

P.S. By the time you read this post, I'll be making my way to Las Vegas! Lest you think the boy and I are pulling a Britney-style quickie marriage, rest assured we're not. This is an all-girls trip that MizzJ, her friends, and I have been plotting for some time. Six ladies, no men, and a whole weekend of fun ahead of us; we're bound to cook up some trouble. ;-)

Flannel Pajamas = Heaven

Between a full schedule and fighting off a cold, I'm more than a little weary these days. Even the cutest daytime outfit can't beat the high I get when I put on my flannel PJs at home and settle down for some R&R, and when the flannel PJs in question are as cute as these sleepover flannel pajamas from Victoria's Secret ($49.50), vegging on the couch with some soup and vitamin C nearby seems even more tempting. Classic styling, cozy material, and the variety of adorable patterns (feather plumes, blue vintage keys, pink elephants, and four different types of plaid, just to name a few) made it hard for me to choose a photo for this post. Now, if only I could look half as good as the model above when I'm ill, I'd be all set.

Forever 21 Costume Jewelry Finds

I hope my Canadian readers had a lovely Thanksgiving long weekend! Mine was full of food and quality time with friends and the boy, so I didn't have time to check out the Forever 21 grand opening at Metropolis at Metrotown. Whenever I had the chance to set foot in an F21 in the US, though, one of my favourite sections was always the jewelry. Here are my top picks from the Canadian website.

Pearl set daisy ring, $6.80

Open-cut lacquered ring, $3.80

Cube chain toggle bracelet, $6.80

Round cluster ring, $4.80

Rhinestone pyramid elastic bracelet, $15.80


October issue of Vancouver Fashion eZine is out!

Check out my article about Cocopunkz, a breathtakingly beautiful line of handpainted heels and sneakers by artists Miranda Pang and Ada Fu. Definitely check out their shoes; trust me when I say you're in for some serious eye candy.

While you're at it, have you ordered your anniversary print issue of VFE yet? With two years' worth of articles and photos totalling more than 200 pages of content, it's a veritable compendium of the Vancouver fashion scene.

Have a great weekend, everyone! I'll be salsa dancing, seeing a movie at the Vancouver International Film Festival, and spending time with the boy and relaxing. What's everyone else up to?

My Holy Grail Boots, Finally

My fall 2009 shopping list only consisted of a few things: the Coach satchel, the Chanel clutch, my skirt and dress from Francis, new tights and leggings, and a new pair of boots. While most of these items were easy to find, the boots proved to be the most difficult by far. I wanted a flat pair of simple black leather boots with a good tread for snow and ice. Sounds simple, right? Wrong. The weatherproof boots I saw were clunky, fur-trimmed, or too synthetic-looking, while all the fashionable flat leather boots I liked had smooth treads that would be serviceable in the rain but deadly once the snowy season starts. In short, I wanted something a little more "urban chic" and a little less "sporty Inuit." To add another challenge to the search, I needed a pair that would zip up over muscular calves (I blame you, dance!) and accommodate skinny jeans.

Well, leave it to a Canadian company to come up with the exact product I was looking for. When I popped into Town Shoes last Friday for a quick browse, I stumbled upon the 'Vitiana' boots in black by Blondo Canada. These boots boast treated waterproof leather that will stand up to rain, snow, and salt stains. The interior is lined with a plush velour and a cushiony insole to keep my feet and legs dry and comfortable. I also love the sturdy waffle tread and the hidden elastic at the top of the boot. If you've been looking for a similar sort of boot, I highly recommend checking these out.

What's the holy grail item on your fall shopping wishlist, the one you can't seem to find anywhere?

October Awards

More love from the blogosphere has come my way in the form of two awards First up is an award from the lovely Nicole of Le Mode du Jour, who also happens to be The Style Spy's newest contributor. Thanks, Nicole!

I'm passing this award on to Everyday Sugar, Kage, Koko Stiletto, The Starving Stylist, and Tis Serendipity.

Next, stylish blogger Dream Sequins gave me the Kreativ Blogger award along with a "List seven things about yourself" tag. Thanks, DS! And without further ado:
  1. In case you couldn't tell from my recent tweets, "Solo Lisa" isn't so solo anymore. I've been seeing a new guy (whom I'll refer to on this blog as "the boy") and he is quite sweet.
  2. I'll be going salsa dancing three times this week.
  3. Once the weather gets cold, I start craving soup. I can quite honestly have soup every day in the fall and winter and not get tired of it.
  4. Autumn is my favourite season to dress for. I love tights, boots, jackets and coats.
  5. September is my favourite month of the year. Aside from being my birthday month, it's the month of Indian summer and early fall, Mid-Autumn Festival, the new school year, the start of fashion's most influential season, the month when the thickest issues of all the fashion glossies come out. September just speaks of new possibilities to me.
  6. I don't like onions. If I'm eating a dish that has a lot of them, I'll eat a couple pieces, then systematically pick out all the other onion bits and pile them in one corner on my plate.
  7. My last purchase was a pair of opaque black tights from American Apparel.

Product Review: Ozone Socks

'Tis the season for legwear--knee-high and thigh-high socks, tights, and leggings to keep our legs toasty warm and our selves from shivering in the chill autumn air. Although I normally review beauty products, I couldn't resist when Ozone Socks contacted me, offered to send me free socks, and asked me to review their products. This was back in the summer; I pleaded heat wave and postponed the review for another time, but now that the weather has cooled I really have no excuse to procrastinate any longer, do I?

Founded by fashion industry veteran Laurie Mallett, Ozone wants to lend socks and legwear the same fun and fashion cred given to other garments: "For too long the sock has been ignored by the world of fashion and we’re going to change that." Among the various innovations this company has introduced to the sock world, perhaps the most interesting one is their whimsical designs. I browsed through their website and chose the 'Fashion not Bondage' knee-highs to review. (The company rep I spoke to threw in a second pair because I only picked one pair.)

The socks are densely knit and very good quality. In fact, the over-the-knee striped socks that Ozone threw in proved so warm that I may pair them with a mini sweater dress instead of my usual tights. I can definitely see myself layering them under tall boots, but Ozone's designs are meant to be seen. Would these socks work as visible components of my outfits? I styled a couple of outfits around the socks to find out, and the answer was a resounding yes!

Forever 21 plaid blouse, Target skirt, over-the-knee Ozone socks, Payless shoes

Dynamite skirt and shirt, Wise and Proper necklace, 'Fashion not Bondage' knee-highs, Payless shoes

The only downside I see to Ozone is that the price points are a bit high. Prices generally range from $12-45 for a single pair. As a consumer, I'd be discouraged from buying Ozone socks--having to order online, pay shipping, wait for my parcel--when I could pick up a less expensive alternative at a local store and wear them immediately.

Today's Outfit: From the Office to the Runway

Last week, I found myself rushing from late nights at the office to 8pm fashion shows at BC Fashion Week. The problem? Dressing appropriately for both places. The solution? An outfit that didn't show too much skin, wasn't so flashy that I'd look out of place at work yet still looked presentable when I was schmoozing with some of Vancouver's most fashionable folks.

On top of this outfit, I donned my new blue-green wool coat from Togs, my "payment" for another round of copywriting. This coat was a sample for a design that never went into production, so it's truly one-of-a-kind. I like how the hip length is perfect for pairing with mini dresses and shorter skirts, allowing a bit of the hem to peek out from underneath. A big thank you to Jenny and Tabitha of Two of Hearts!
  • Dress (Topshop)
  • Tee (Suzy Shier)
  • Cardigan (Banana Republic)
  • Leggings (Forever 21)
  • Boots (Steve Madden via Army and Navy)
  • Necklace (Wendy Brandes)
  • Purse (Chanel)
  • Coat (Togs)

BCFW SS 2010 Day 2: Malene Grotrian

Fresh on the heels of her NYFW triumph, Malene Grotrian presented another elegantly beautiful collection at Wednesday night's show in Circa Resto Lounge. As with her other collections, the clothes featured beautiful textiles and textures--no surprise considering that Malene sources her fabrics from Italy and Montreal. What is different this time, though, is that Malene turned to nature instead of classic glamour for inspiration. "This collection was inspired by sand," she said to me after the show. "The way it looks when it's wet or dry, the way it moves, the different shades of gray on pebbles and stone at the beach."

Following inspiration closely, then, this season's clothes drew on a neutral colour palette of beiges, white, and black with the occasional jolt of vibrant crimson. Models sashayed down the "runway" (really a path earmarked to circulate throughout Circa's lower level) to the sounds of a violinist playing over a pounding backbeat. High-waisted pencil skirts in luxurious fabrics and dresses with black leather tie belts put all emphasis on the waist. The dresses themselves were either loose and flowing (a draped jersey number, a lingerie-inspired slip dress with an asymmetrical hem) or structured.

Although this collection featured the trademark bustiers and open bolero jackets that Malene does so well, it also seemed to take a page from tailored menswear. I spied shirtdresses, crisp button-down blouses, and even an embroidered tuxedo jacket with satiny lapels. But the menswear influences were transmogrified by femininity in the form of seams that complement curves, or oversized ruffles spilling down the front of a satiny shirtdress.

The closing look--a strapless black-and-white embroidered gown with a flowing train--earned gasps of admiration and applause from the audience. For me, it also recalled the high drama of the tulle-lined ballgown skirts at last season's VFW show.

Malene with the violinist

Malene and her models pose in front of Circa after the show.

All photos by Yvonne Chew. This post also appears on Stylefinds.

Fine Finds Fall Shopping Party

Confession: I spend as much time cooing over what a cute couple Chuck and Blair are as I do coveting Blair's outfits. If you're like me, you'll want to check out the Gossip Girl-style shopping party hosted by Fine Finds and The Style Spy. RSVP at See you there!

Fine Finds Fall Shopping Party
Thursday, October 15, 2009, 5pm-8pm
1014 Mainland Street

This post also appears on Stylefinds.
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