The little black dress gets all the credit, but Ali Clarke knows that a unique shade of nail polish or the perfect statement necklace is really what makes a girl’s look memorable. Clarke spends her days keeping the media in the know of the next wave of beauty products to hit the market at Lex PR. At night, she puts her manicure on the line to wield hammers and shape silver as the one woman show behind her very own line of jewelry, Ali Laure. To the world of knock-out accessories, Ali Clarke is kind of like Catwoman with her double life. We caught up with Clarke to find out all about her current favourite jewelry lines, what’s in her beauty bag, and why she loves to call Toronto home.
Tell us a bit about yourself. What should people know?
I was born and raised in Ottawa and spent most of my suburban youth craving a taste of city life. So, after university I ran away to Europe and then made the move to Toronto. During the day I work in PR, focusing on all things beauty. At night I saw, solder and hammer silver for my jewelry line, Ali Laure. I am also obsessed with dogs and am not embarrassed to admit that I slow down (and often stop) when I walk past dog parks just so I can watch them run around. Dogs are the best.
Finish this sentence: I love Toronto because…
…of food! Kidding… sort of. I love Toronto because you can make it into the city that you want it to be. You can create your own Toronto – if you’re into art, or the music scene, or consider yourself a foodie. There is so much to love and see in Toronto, and you can truly personalize every experience.
What’s your favourite restaurant and why?
I’m giving you a list: Terroni because I love their Queen Street West patio (except be careful in the fall when apples fall from the trees) and their Funghi Assoluti appetizer; Marben for the atmosphere, ceviche cones and lavender crème brûlée; Le Select for (what I think) is the best brunch in Toronto (Americano, omelette, second helping of fresh bread, Caesar – perfection); Pizzeria Libretto because I have searched and I still think they make the best pizza in Toronto; Swish by Han for their Lobster Bibimbap and their Gin Gin Mule cocktail; 416 Snack Bar because I love the intimate atmosphere and could order the fish board for the rest of my life; and Woodlot because it’s the perfect cozy winter spot (if you go late they’ll give you bread to take home).
Who’s your favourite designer/brand and why do you sport their fashions?
I’m always interested in what other jewelry designers are doing and love supporting my fellow “solderers” – Pamela Love is (and likely always will be) my favourite jewelry designer. I love the intricate iron fence-inspired styles and rustic designs of Vanessa Lianne, as well as designs from local favourite Jenny Bird.
What’s in your beauty bag today?
Concealer, Visine and blush. I always carry concealer for end of day “touch ups.” No matter how many hours I spend glued to my laptop or soldering silver, a bit of concealer in and under the corners of my eyes instantly makes me look more awake. I add Visine to get rid of that “I haven’t blinked in 10 hours” look, and some blush (because when I don’t wear it people always say “you look tired”).
What beauty/style trends are you excited for this year?
I don’t tend to wear too much makeup, so I clap a little when I see the “no makeup” look on the runway. I usually feel like less is more when it comes to makeup, so I tend to lean towards lighter eye makeup with a bright lip, or more dramatic eyes with a nude lip.
What’s your favourite spa or service?
Confession: I rarely go to the spa! But, since I am always beating my hands up at the studio, I appreciate a manicure more than most girls.
What’s the one – yes, just one – product you can’t live without?
Argon oil. It’s the best thing I have ever added to my beauty routine and I honestly look forward to using it every night.
If you designed a fragrance, what would it be called and what would it smell like?
It would likely be called Lavender and smell like lavender. Or Jasmine, and smell like jasmine.
Let’s get social for a mo’. How can people stay up-to-date of your primping and pampering?
Me personally – Twitter and Instagram; my jewelry shenanigans – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and of course, Etsy.