Lise Watier Age Control Supreme Giveaway

My newest giveaway comes just in time for Mother's Day, although you don't have to be a mother to enter it. Skincare products always remind me of my mom because she takes her skincare regimen so seriously even though, in her view, it's too little too late. She's always taught me to take care of my skin first and worry about makeup second, a tenet I still follow to this day as I moisturize, cleanse, exfoliate, and apply sunscreen diligently.

For mothers, gorgeous gals with mature skin, and the skincare lovers out there, Lise Watier has launched their new Age Control Supreme line, just in time for the Canadian cosmetics company's 40th anniversary. The star ingredient behind the Crystal Day Elixir ($45), La Creme ($78), and Black Night Elixir ($45) is Labrador tea, a sub-arctic plant and powerful anti-oxidant whose healing and anti-inflammatory properties have been known to traditional aboriginal medicine for ages.

As the Lise Watier publicist explained when I stopped by the launch event, Labrador tea is 20 times more potent than other anti-oxidants on the market like vitamin C, vitamin E, and grape seed extract. Lise Watier spent five years commissioning research and perfecting the special extraction process that preserves Labrador tea at its most potent. (That would explain their wildly successful clinical trials in France.) The rich formulations in the Age Control Supreme line are ideally suited for women 40 and above.

Interested in trying Age Control Supreme (or if you're a younger reader, gifting it to a special woman in your life)? I have the entire line (combined value of $168) to give away to one lucky Solo Lisa reader. To enter, simply leave a comment on this post before Saturday May 12th, 12pm PST, telling me what your Mother's Day plans are; include your contact info (email or Twitter) as any entries without a means of contact will be disqualified. A winner will be chosen randomly. Good luck!


Lisa's Most Coveted List: Spring Beauty Edition

Phew, I haven't published a Most Coveted list in a while! To reintroduce this blog feature, here's a list of my favourite beauty products for spring.

1. Anything from Consonant Body. Okay, so I'm cheating by including an entire skincare line as my first product. But ever since I first tried their products almost 1.5 years ago, I've been hooked. Their foaming face wash is tops. Their eye creams are great for day and night. I also love their organic soaps: so gentle and never drying. Ooh, and their organic hand lotion. (Clearly, narrowing it down to one product was difficult.) I recently stopped by BeautyMark to restock my Ultra Firming Eye Cream and Ultra Moisturizing Eye Cream ($36 each) and was pleasantly surprised by Consonant's new packaging. The old glass jars have been replaced by pump dispensers--definitely more hygienic than dipping your dirty fingers into the cream all the time.

2. A lipstick/gloss/balm hybrid like ILIA'S tinted lip conditioners ($24). When winter turns to spring, I dryclean and put away heavy wool garments, swap boots for ballet flats and canvas sneakers, and incorporate more colour into my outfits. I also tend to favour lighter lip colours like corals and pinks over saturated matte shades for everyday wear. A pigmented moisturizing formula delivers the best of both worlds by giving me a subtle hint of tint and doubling as a lip balm.

3. Spruce Body Lab Be Smooth Body Scrub ($23). Dry skin shouldn't be a source of anxiety once the winter layers come off and the summer dresses and sandals come out. This dreamy concoction of white sugar, sweet almond oil, blood orange, lavender, and vanilla is the same product that Spruce uses in their incredible exfoliating treatments. Even if you can't afford an afternoon at the spa, you can still pick up this cruelty-free made in Vancouver scrub for some affordable DIY exfolation at home.

4. Shu Uemura eyelash curler. When my cheapie eyelash curler bit the dust, I seized the opportunity to splurge on a Shu Uemura eyelash curler just to see if it lived up to the hype. Admittedly I wasn't very impressed at first, but that had more to do with my poor technique than the curler's design. Once I got used to it though, I found that it delivered an eye-opening but still very natural-looking curl.

5. Curel Advanced Ceramide Therapy Body Milk ($15, available at select London Drugs locations in Vancouver). Ceramides are lipid molecules that occur in healthy skin; the higher the number of ceramides, the softer and healthier your skin looks. Curel's new line of products--originally developed in Japan and now the top-selling sensitive skincare brand there--aims to restore the ceramide balance in sensitive, dry skin. The Body Milk arrived on my desk along with a bevy of other beauty goodies from Curel that I have yet to try. But so far I really like the Body Milk: it's unscented, non-greasy, and fast-absorbing, and it feels like a lotion from a luxe brand rather than a drugstore label.

Your turn! What are your must-have beauty products for spring?

P.S. And speaking of must-have beauty products, have you entered the Flower of Tahiti organic hair masque giveaway yet?


All That Glitters... gold, gold, gold, especially when it comes to bracelets and bangles. Like every other blogger and Pinterest user, I'm warming up to the look of stacked bracelets. While others favour eclectic mixes of neon hues, friendship bracelets, and oversize watches, I love the look of two or three gold-toned bracelets worn together. Particularly if there are contrasting textural details like spikes, studs, and braids.

Is this a look that you're warming up to too? Which bracelet is your favourite?


Product Review: Flower of Tahiti Organic Hair Masque PLUS Giveaway

For some of us (and I include myself here), dry winter hair seems like an unavoidable fact of life. We fight off the worst of the frizzies with deep conditioners and smoothing products. I've certainly tried my share, but the Flower of Tahiti Organic Hair Masque ($22, available at BeautyMark) is probably the first organic vegan formula I've used. Its main ingredient, Tahitian Monoi Oil, is a blend of coconut oils and Tahitian gardenia petals, and has been used by indigenous Polynesians as a skin and hair softener for the last 2,000 years. Flower of Tahiti's creator, Jennifer Pedraza, used a homemade Tahitian Monoi Oil hair masque on herself for many years before she was inspired to package and sell her concoction.

"It is so gentle, being organic and vegan, that anyone can use it really," explained Pedraza when I asked about who would benefit most from using Flower of Tahiti. While the much richer original formula is suitable for those with thick and/or curly hair, the new light formula is ideal for fine/oily-haired gals. How you use it is up to you and your needs. Use it daily as a rich conditioner; use it as an ultra-hydrating treatment by leaving it in for 30 minutes and then rinsing it off; apply it to your hair before swimming in the ocean or the pool to protect yourself from the drying effects of salt and chlorine.

I've been using my review sample as a deep-conditioning treatment and I approve. After washing my hair with 2-in-1 shampoo, I usually work a dollop of the hair masque into my hair and let it sit there while I continue with the rest of my shower, then rinse it off at the very end. Despite its super-moisturizing benefits, Flower of Tahiti is lightweight and non-greasy, and its coconut scent is pleasant without being overpowering. My hair feels soft and frizz-free at the end--no need for silicone-based smoothing products!

Interested in trying the Flower of Tahiti hair masque for yourself? Pedraza has generously offered a full-size masque to one lucky Solo Lisa reader. This giveaway is open to Canadian and US residents. Simply leave a comment on this post explaining what you do to combat dry hair by Friday May 4th, 12pm PST. All entries must have some means of contact (email or Twitter); any entries that do not have a means of contact will be disqualified. One winner will be chosen randomly. Good luck!


Eco Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2012: Prophetik

As always, the presentation for Tennessee-based designer Jeff Garner's Prophetik ended Eco Fashion Week on a high note, blending runway and music (in this case, a motley mix of baroque violin, minstrel song stylings, and live folk) into a fashion spectacle. Garner's trademark romanticism, as well as the Victorian and equestrian influences for which he is known, once again play a big role in the underlying aesthetic of the collection. But this time around, his designs were transmuted by a narrative of courtly love: a vision of a young man aspiring to earn the love of a princess.

The provenance of the materials for Prophetik's creations was as eclectic as it was eco-friendly. Plant and earth-based dyes created soft shades of peach, white, pink and red. Hemp/silk blends, hemp wool plaid, and reworked antique quilts (which were used heavily in the fall/winter 2011 collection) were used in gowns, culottes, tops, and jackets.

Indeed, some of the greatest standouts in this collection were the meticulously worked coats and jackets: outerwear that showed off Garner's technique to great effect.

Favourite piece(s): the gold silk party dresses and gowns with a high bodice in the front that swooped to a low backless design in the back. Simple loop-straps that extended from the front of the bodice held the entire dress in place securely. This was quite possibly one of the most ingenious backless designs I've ever seen.

All photos in this post by Wayne Mah.


Weleda Giveaway Winner

The winner of the Weleda prize pack is...


Congratulations! I'll be contacting you shortly. Thanks to the people who entered. For those who didn't win, keep reading: There are two more cool giveaways coming in the next few weeks.


Eco Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2012: Standing Armed

After meeting designer Lindsay Walsh and viewing the spring/summer 2012 collection for Standing Armed last year, I was eager to see what she had up her sleeve for next season. Her fall/winter show at Eco Fashion Week bore the same hallmarks as her previous collection: it was full of wearable, on-trend separates made in luxe natural materials such as wool and silk.

The show opened strongly with a sleeveless gray wool trench layered over a long-sleeved dress; more covetable pieces just kept coming down the runway after that. A tight white lace dress added depth to the black silk frock with a high-low hemline that was layered on top. More gray wool separates--a bolero jacket, a skirt--followed. With Walsh's designs, the devil's in the details (like an inverted pleat down the front of an LBD).

An abstract watercolour floral in shades of pink, coral, and gray adorned tops and a printed trouser. From far away the print looked a bit like a mottled pink, star-sprinkled galaxy; up close one could see the blooms. "Very cosmic cherry blossom," I had scrawled in my notebook.

My favourite piece: the fluid red A-line skirt with hidden pockets and a skinny belt.

All photos in this post by Wayne Mah.

P.S. Add a touch of green to your beauty routine by winning a prize pack from Weleda. But you better hurry up and enter: the giveaway closes this Friday.


Eco Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2012: SVENSK

Think bow-crazed Blair Waldorf meets Swedish hipster, and you pretty much sum up the aesthetic of emerging Swedish knitwear label SVENSK in a nutshell. Founded by Diana Svensk in 2008, the line's humble origins lay in the knit hats that Svensk used to make for friends and family as a teenager. One of her girlish chapeaux caught the eye of a store who placed a large order. Realizing she was on to something, Svensk founded her eponymous label, expanding her offerings to mittens, cardigans, socks, scarves, and sweater dresses.

Made from 100% alpaca wool, SVENSK's fall/winter 2012 collection was sweet, cozy, and unabashedly whimsical. The simplistic palette of grey, red, pink, black, and navy blue underlined the half-preppy, half-hipster aesthetic. Myriad bows fluttered on cardigans and scarves, or from the tops of mittens and socks, like dozens of knit butterflies. A tiered gray poncho, and scarf and sweater dress set with trompe l'oeil hearts, deviated from the bow-adorned norm. Knitwear aside, SVENSK also showed a small handful of tailored wool coats and print dresses.

My favourite piece in the show was the short-sleeved peplum sweater: so on-trend and wearable, and let's face it, just plain adorable.

All photos in this post by Wayne Mah.

P.S. Add a touch of green to your beauty routine by winning a prize pack from Weleda. But you better hurry up and enter: the giveaway closes this Friday.


Eco Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2012: The Value of Thrifting

As soon as I saw that Value Village PR and communications manager Sara Gaugl was carrying the same navy blue vintage Coach bag that I was, I knew we would hit it off. After the initial exclamations, we asked each other where we'd found our respective purses. Mine: $40 from an Etsy vintage vendor. Hers: $10 from Value Village. Quite the bargain considering the re-issued version of that same bag sells for about $300 brand new.

Hidden gems like mint condition Coach bags, Waldorf crystal vases, and odd teacups and saucers that complete an antique china set keep Value Village's devoted customers returning for more. "What is old for somebody is new for you," said Anny Leclerc, North American supply chain director for Value Village, who also outlined the appeal of thrift stores in a recession for those craving unique style on a budget. "There are authentic and high-quality pieces for any budget. With the economy today, people need to be more creative and define their own style." The 70s, 80s, and Mad Men-inspired 60s looks making a comeback in recent years can be had for a pittance if one has the patience to do a bit of digging. In fact, Gaugl and Leclerc put their money where their mouth was with a runway show at Eco Fashion Week this season, featuring on-trend looks put together only with clothes and accessories from Value Village.

But as Gaugl and Leclerc explained, thrifting does so much more good than just keep dollars in your pocketbook. Shopping secondhand is the original form of eco fashion. After all, every pre-owned piece of clothing that finds a new home is one less garment in the landfill. Plus, Value Village partners with non-profit organizations, who give their donated clothing and household items to stores to sell in exchange for much needed funds. (The Canadian Diabetes Association is Value Village's largest Canadian partner.) Charities and organizations have received over $1 billion from Value Village to date. Save money, save the earth, do good in your community--it's a win-win-win situation.

So do Gaugl and Leclerc have any tips for thrifting newbies? "Buy what you like, keep an open mind, and try everything on."

This post kicks off a week of Eco Fashion Week coverage. Enjoy!

P.S. Add a touch of green to your beauty routine by winning a prize pack from Weleda. But you better hurry up and enter: the giveaway closes this Friday.


Today's Outfit: Iris Orchid Sneakers

The boy took these photos for me a couple of weekends ago while I was wearing the Dainty Chucks I received from the generous folks at Converse. Their bright purply-pink shade, dubbed 'Iris Orchid', is exactly the same colour as my beloved J. Crew no. 2 pencil skirt. Small wonder then that I've been loving these sneakers and wearing them non-stop. Although they're sleeker and more feminine than a classic Chuck lo-top, they're just as comfortable and versatile.

Lately life seems to be one never-ending to-do list, and quite frankly the endless merry-go-round of work, fashion events, and blogging is taking its toll on my spirits and energy level. What am I going to do when the homebuying stuff starts taking over my life?! This last weekend was supposed to be a weekend of great productivity, but it ended up being just the opposite. I think my body knew I needed rest more than anything else: All I ended up doing was going to yoga, napping, and watching movies. (Winter's Bone was pretty interesting, if only because I got to see Jennifer Lawrence skin a squirrel before The Hunger Games.) Sometimes lazy weekends are exactly what the doctor ordered.

P.S. Have you entered the Weleda prize pack giveaway yet? Do it now! The giveaway closes this Friday.


Product Review: Weleda One Step Cleanser and Toner PLUS Giveaway

Since trying out Weleda's Sea Buckthorn Body Oil last summer and learning more about this all-natural skincare company with its 90+ year history, I've been a fan of the brand and what they do. So you can imagine how psyched I was to try their new One Step Cleanser & Toner ($24). Formulated to be gentle yet effective for normal to combination skin, this product promises to cleanse and clarify in a single step--perfect for busy gals who don't have a lot of morning prep time. The olive oil in the cleanser sweeps away traces of dirt and makeup, while anti-inflammatory, astringent witch hazel deep-cleans pores and soothes irritation.

I've been using Weleda's One Step Cleanser and Toner for a couple of weeks so far. On the whole, it delivers on its promises. The heavy blue glass bottle reminds me of a hot sauce bottle: a plastic spout at the top only lets a couple drops out at a time and you have to shake the bottle a lot for a little product to come out. Because I'm so used to having suds and this formula didn't lather at all, I probably used more of the milky, liquidy cleanser than I needed. That being said, it cleanses effectively without drying out or irritating my skin. The fresh citrus scent (courtesy of essential oils), and the knowledge that the product tones my skin without any additional effort on my part--that's just icing on the cake.

Interested in trying it for yourself? Weleda is giving one lucky Solo Lisa reader a prize pack which includes the One Step Cleanser and Toner. Simply leave a comment on this post with your contact info (email, blog or Twitter) and an answer to the question: "What do you do to save time in your busy day?" The giveaway ends Friday April 20th, 12 pm PST. One winner will be chosen randomly. Good luck!


Today's Outfit: All Dressed Up

Take a good last look at my winter coat because you won't be seeing it for another six months! After weeks of waffling weather, spring is finally on its way. I even felt confident enough to drop off my heavy coats, wool trousers and wool skirts at the drycleaners for one more cleaning before I put them away.

My last couple of outfit posts have been pretty brief--partly because I was in a rush, partly because there's been a lot of personal stuff happening lately. Some of it is good, some of it bad, but these are things I didn't want to discuss necessarily. I attended a funeral a couple of weeks ago, and that's all I'll say about that other than my thoughts are still with the family. (This isn't my grief to share in a public arena.) Work is pretty busy but still manageable at the moment; however, that might change in the coming weeks since one of my colleagues left the company for another opportunity, reducing our tight-knit team of three to two.

On a brighter note, the boy and I are moving forward with our homebuying plans. We met with a mortgage broker this week who informed us that we were very good candidates (whew). After we get the pre-approval, it'll be time to get serious about finding a place. Who knows, in a few months I could find myself with the pied-à-terre I've dreamed of since I started saving for the down payment five years ago!


OAK + FORT Spring/Summer 2012 Media Preview

Before I attended the spring/summer 2012 media preview last week, I admit I'd written off OAK + FORT as too Fashion Toast-y for my tastes. The few times I'd set foot inside or strolled past their window displays, their clothes had always seemed to be all cropped tops and asymmetrical hems, sheer things meant for wispy waifs, shapeless shirts and sweaters. So you can imagine my surprise and delight at OAK + FORT's current collection, which juxtaposes sleek tailored lines with draping in a way that's downright wearable. Their design team lightened up the usual austere palette of black and white and opted for subdued shades of cream, blush and mint, as well as a muted floral print in the form of a sun dress. Cutaways and sheer or lace panel insets updated classic collared blouses.

Guests enjoyed cupcakes, champagne and music provided by a live harpist sitting in the shop window before the media presentation began. Groups of models, styled by M'c kenneth Licon of Little Fashionisto fame, stood in place in the middle of the store to show the clothes to full advantage, their outfits perfectly accessorized with shades from Bruce Eyewear and shoes from Rowan Sky. Standout pieces included a black mini shift with a white Peter Pan collar and airy and chunky knitwear. But my favourite piece in the store, hands down, was the collared blouse with triangular neckline cutouts that I found on the rack.

I've never been happier at being proven wrong: OAK + FORT isn't a write-off, but a fledgling label where even a classic girl can find a covetable piece or two.


In Praise of the J. Crew No. 2 Pencil Skirt

Since I bought my J. Crew no. 2 pencil skirt on sale during Christmas holidays last year, I can't seem to stop wearing it. (See this post, this post, this post, and this post for evidence.) I don't think I'll ever tire of its bright pink-purple orchid colour, sturdy double-serge wool, flattering cut and ability to match the other items in my wardrobe seamlessly. Indeed, the skirt epitomizes the resolution I set out for myself earlier in 2012: "Buy less, but buy better."

But with spring and summer approaching (and the time to dryclean and put away wool garments nearing), my attention can't help turning to J. Crew's selection of no. 2 pencil skirts ($72.99 to $160) in other, more weather-appropriate fabrications: double-serge cotton, graphic floral, polka dots, paisley. Same great cut, new colours and patterns. Looking sharp (as a no. 2 pencil?) has never been easier. Where such a wardrobe staple is concerned, I can bend the "Buy less, but buy better" maxim a teensy bit and add one or two more skirts to my collection, right? Right?

P.S. Who's as excited about the J. Crew opening on Robson St. (in the storefront previously occupied by Tommy Hilfiger) as I am? I'll still be tempted to shop the sales south of the border, but if there's something I really want and can't wait to get, having a brick-and-mortar store in Vancouver will make things so convenient.


Converse Spring/Summer 2012 Media Preview

Happy Easter weekend everyone! I hope your holiday was filled with fun times and lots of sweet and savoury treats.

Speaking of sweet treats (sweet shoe treats, anyway), here are some photos from the Converse spring/summer 2012 media preview I attended, which was held at the Warehouse Studio in Gastown. My favourite pairs veered towards the sweet side with macaron and sorbet hues, braided laces and gingham and polka dot patterns. But there's something for everyone this season, whether you want rock n' roll-inspired John Varvatos kicks or classic Chucks in fresh shades. Here's a look at the shoes that caught my eye.

These multi-tongued Chucks come in kids and adult sizes and let you switch up the look of your shoes every time you wear them.

My favourite shoes from the preview were these sorbet-coloured Lights. Their streamlined silhouettes and pretty hues make them the perfect casual sneakers to wear with this spring's coloured denim.

Braided laces give a pair of classic Chucks a fresh look.

Nice shade of blue!

A breathable crochet texture makes these a terrific alternative to the casual flat summer sandal.

The latest offerings from Converse's ongoing collaboration with Marimekko (available at the Marimekko store in Yaletown).

Gingham and polka dots!

Nautical-inspired Chuckits, a super-lightweight slip-on shoe ideal for the beach or lake.
Back to Top