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flare world runway tour 2013 + skincare faves

Ah yes, yet another beauty/fashion post from The Prodigal Blogger. And wouldn't you know it, I'm here to talk about something th...

Ah yes, yet another beauty/fashion post from The Prodigal Blogger. And wouldn't you know it, I'm here to talk about something that happened way back in October of last year! (Typical procrastinator, right?!)

As an avid fan of major fashion weeks: London/Milan/Paris/New York, I've always been quite sad of having to admire said events from afar- while Vancouver has its own fashion week...it's a wonderful event, don't get me wrong, but one that mainly focuses on local designers, not a major designer event with all the drama and glory of ~haute couture~, if yenno what I mean! I was so excited to discover Flare's World Runway Tour, which brings the WORLD'S best fashion & beauty trends to Vancouver/Montreal/Toronto, with the help of Holt Renfrew. Now, everyone knows that I la-la-LOOOOOVE Holt Renfrew, so there was no way I was missing out on this! With tickets in hand, my best friend Angela and I headed off to the Four Seasons hotel...and were we ever blown away.

I'm a bit of a homebody, so this was doubly exciting for me, but the opening reception was absolutely amazing. Servers walking around with trays of cheesecake, macarons, crème brûlée (my fave!), and many more little goodies- and also a table filled with various other desserts! 

There was also an open bar, a TRESemmé station where girls could get their hair done, and an Estée Lauder station for makeovers. 

Outside in the lobby, there were photographers to take pictures of you against the Flare backdrop, and also another booth to get professional headshots done. Fancy! I won't get too much into the actual runway show as there was another point to this post, but it was just what I wanted- they showed affordable fall outfits, then a short presentation on trends from Milan fashion week, and lastly, amazing designer fall outfits from Holt Renfrew- Valentino, Tom Ford, Alexander McQueen, etc....I loved it all. I will definitely be purchasing tickets to this year's! 

Back to my main reason for this post- every attendee received a swag bag at the event. The VIP ticket holders got some extra things- I'm not quite sure what, though I did see one of them pull out a mini hair straightener from hers. Here's what us commoners (;D) got:

Pacific Centre very generously gave us $20 gift cards, which is more than I would've ever imagined. I love All-Bran, so that was great to receive, but I was also surprised by how delicious the Quinoa bars were- will definitely purchase those again. Purdy's Chocolates?! Why, don't mind if I do! Within the Jo Malone packet were three small fragrance samples- I'm absolutely in love with Nectarine Blossom & Honey, and I like Orange Blossom, but am not crazy about Nutmeg & Ginger. These will be a serious splurge item at $70 for the smaller bottle (and will have to get in line behind D&G's L'Imperatrice, which I've been putting off buying for years due to the price!), though I do think they last a bit longer on my skin than some of the other perfumes I own. I really appreciate that they had these in mini atomizers- I'm not a fan of those plug-type vials we usually get for samples. Case in point? The 2.9 ml sample of Modern Muse from Estée Lauder that we received. Granted, the vial is absolutely gorgeous. Modern Muse"symbolizes what it means to be an independent and self-confident woman today, sure of herself and her style". It's mostly composed of jasmine and wood/patchouli- which makes it a sort of musky floral mix. I don't hate it, but it's a bit too musky & mature for me- whereas I prefer lighter florals or citrus scents. Perhaps I'll grow into it...it'll be a nice scent for winter. Speaking of- I loved the Sally Hansen polish in 'Wine Not'. A shimmery wine red that I used obsessively in November & December- it's an excellent formula as well.

Now to talk about my favourites from the past few months. As the Flare event was in October, I haven't really looked through my other goodies since then, but recently while cleaning my room, I decided to pull these things out for usage. Now, I love lotion, but I will be the first to admit I am always suckered in by pleasant scents and cute packaging, which means I own far too many lotions from Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works. However, I never actually get through any of these, so I just have tons and tons of lotions sitting around in my room. I'm not typically drawn in by boring hand creams, but the Nivea Pure & Natural hand cream with Argan Oil changed that. In the winter months, for whatever reason, my left elbow (and not my right- weird) gets extremely cracked and dry. Usually I reach for whatever I have on hand, but my usual lotions never really do the trick and I find myself having to moisturize quite often. Out of desperation, I tried the Nivea cream and....was absolutely blown away. It was soothing and left my arms soft and moisturized for the rest of the day. I'm now close to finishing the whole tube, which for me, is definitely a first. It has a very very faint scent- you barely notice it at all. I think I've learned now that creams are the way to go- lotions are just too thin to get the job done! That being said, the Hydrating Moroccan Argan Oil creamy oil body lotion from Organix is something I like using on my legs. It's quite runny, but the argan oil keeps my legs moisturized, and there's a bit of shimmer in it, though it's really not that obvious. I'm not quite sure how to describe the scent! A bit citrus-y, perhaps? 

Oof, I'm sorry, this is running way too long. Last two things! Estée Lauder's Advanced Night Repair & Perfectionist Wrinkle Lifting/Firming Serum. I'd been using Shiseido's Ibuki Softening Concentrate at night, but I've since switched to the ANR. After applying it at night, my face is soft and I swear I don't look as tired in the morning- I hope it's not just a placebo effect, haha. Other than that, I'm not sure I have much else to say on it- my skin is quite normal and it hasn't broke me out, so I have no complaints! I must say though, the smell is a bit off-putting....reminds me of fermented grapes and musk? I just suck it up though, as it's not absolutely disgusting and goes away after a few minutes. As for the serum...I. AM. OBSESSED. I use it under my eyes and any other fine lines and it fills them in instantly- the area feels and looks firmer and it dries to a sort of smooth finish- very reminiscent of the Smashbox primers. Those have silicone, so I instantly googled to see if this does as well, but I can't seem to find anything? Either way, I think this may soon be a holy grail product for me. Thankfully I only use a very tiny amount per day, so this sample should last me ages, otherwise I will eventually have to pay $80 for the smaller bottle! 

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