September 17th, 2012
We swooned for saccharine fragrances this summer but now that it’s (almost) fall, we’re nixing notes of coconut, vanilla, or anything fruity.
Our new signature spritz is Kiehl’s Fig Leaf and Sage, a gorgeously green fragrance inspired by Provence. The scent, one of four in the brand’s new Aromatic Blends collection, is a mélange of fig leaf from the South of France (unique for its fresh quality, as opposed to the fruit’s milky and sweet aroma) plus sage for an herbaceous quality.
It is available in Body Mist ($56), Body Lotion ($30) and Body Cleanser ($25) form and, yes, it’s so good that we’re layering on all three. —Christine Laroche
760 Ste-Catherine St. W., Montreal, 514-788-4226 and Kiehl's Chinook Centre6455 Macleod Trail SW, Calgary, www.kiehls.com
September 10th, 2012
At The Bay downtown, there’s a new way to say “just looking” at the Clinique counter.
Just grab at pink bracelet (or a browsing basket) and the cosmeticians will know that your beauty run is a DIY operation.
The bracelet system, as well as the sleek new space, colour, foundation and lip bars and iPads for self-guided skin analysis are all part of the brand’s new “service as you like it” concept.
Of course, Clinique cosmeticians are always on hand for help but hey, a girl’s gotta have options! —Christine Laroche
585 Ste-Catherine St. W., Montreal, 514-281-4422, www.clinique.com
September 4th, 2012
We’ve tried our share of tricks to transform dour dryness into a pulpy pout but to no avail.
Balm before colour? Good-bye, staying power. Exfoliating with a toothbrush, as per most magazines? Totally ineffective. Face scrub on the lips? Like having sand in our mouth.
Enter Avon’s Ultra Color Rich Lip Exfoliator ($7.99), a tube that contains an exfoliating formula that gently sloughs away dry skin.
Smooth on, wipe off, glide your most gorgeous lip colour on.
This must-have marvel? Magic!—Christine Laroche
Ultra Color Rich Lip Exfoliator available online at www.avon.ca
July 30th, 2012
Mainstream beauty products are sold pretty much everywhere, but a girl's gotta hunt for her favourite natural brands – sometimes, south of the border.
Enter new online shop Fresh Faced, which pledges to bring both popular and hard-to-find brands via eco-friendly packaging to Canadian mailboxes – and only those that they've vetted as both non-toxic and effective.
Time to clean out the medicine cabinet. —Kat Tancock
May 2nd, 2012
Editors are known for their scene-stealing style: They know exactly what looks great, and, more importantly, where to score the season’s essential pieces.
Lucky for us, one of these insiders, Montreal’s Janna Zittrer, Correspondent for FLARE and founder of the newly launched Montreal Shopping Tours, is happy to share. For $160 to $180, she’ll take you on a personalized shopping tour of the city — and throw in transportation, swag, and exclusive discounts, too.
Here’s a peek at her beauty essentials and fashion faves.
The season's top 3 buys are... the printed pant, the sneaker wedge and anything pastel.
The secret to sartorial success is... loving every piece in your closet (even if that means keeping your wardrobe well-edited) so that you feel great every time you get dressed.
My last purchase was... an amazing pair of pixelated-print heels that Preen created with Aldo as part of the latest Rise collaboration.
Montreal's best kept secret is... Forever Nuts from David's Tea. It's happiness in a cup.
Want more? Book her for a tour.
Montreal Shopping Tours, 514-515-4265, www.montrealshoppingtours.com
April 30th, 2012
We’re spicing up our mani in the most fashionable way possible.
Thakoon – a favourite designer of everyone from the U.S.A’s fashionable First Lady to Hollywood style-setters like Rachel Bilson and Jessica Alba – has teamed up with Nars to create a Bollywood-inspired nail polish collection that hits counters tomorrow.
Must-have shades include Anardana, a pomegranate-esque pink and Amchoor, a gorgeous yellow reminiscent of the citrusy spice common in India.
Don’t let the $21 per bottle price tag scare you: With his dresses starting at a cool $725, these polishes are affordable, at least by Thakoon standards! —Christine Laroche
The Bay, 585 Ste-Catherine St. W., Montreal, 514-281-4422, www.hbc.com
April 16th, 2012
What we put into our bodies is local (thanks, Lufa!), but what we apply on it? Not always – until now.
Smith Farms is an all-natural skincare line based in St-Polycarpe, Qc and developed by sisters Julia and Rebecca Smith. Though we love the fact that the products contain zero unpronounceable ingredients, we’re even more smitten with the fact that they actually perform.
The Shea Butter Lip Balm ($5) drenches our dried-out pout with long-lasting moisture, our honey is addicted to the Vitamin Rich Hand Cream ($18) and our stash of fancy creams has been pushed to the side in favor of the ultra-smooth, super soothing Marshmallow Face Cream ($26).
The verdict on this all-natural skin care? Much more chic than crunchy. —Christine Laroche
At À Votre Santé, 5126 Sherbrooke St. W., 514-482-8233, www.smithfarmsproducts.com
April 10th, 2012
It’s almost sandal season. Are you committing a cardinal sin?
We recently lunched with the head honcho at Lotus Aroma for the re-launch of the South Shore-based brand. There were two takeaways: First, the brand’s collection is now made from 99.5% natural ingredients and packaging is made from recycled materials, which we love.
Second, if two foot-specific products have been added to lineup, it’s because of two run-ins with gorgeous, impeccably dressed women who committed a major beauty infraction: Cracked, chapped, and altogether unsightly feet.
We have vowed not to be that girl this summer, so we’re slathering up Lotus Aroma 3 in 1 Foot Care ($16) that protects, moisturizes, exfoliates and deodorizes.
The only thing our feet will be guilty of is fabulosity. – Christine Laroche
At Jean Coutu, 1675 Ste-Catherine St. W., Montreal, www.jeancoutu.com
April 3rd, 2012
We’ve stocked our closets with pieces in the It shade of the season, but when it comes to working it into our beauty routine, we need help.
To our rescue comes the Sephora + Pantone Universe 2012 Colour of the Year Capsule Collection, a limited edition collection of makeup and accessories in the beloved #17-1463 shade.
From the gorgeously creamy (and surprisingly wearable) lipstick ($22) to the nail polish set ($29 for four) and too-cool brush set ($82), every beautista is guaranteed to crush on at least one of the orange offerings. —Christine Laroche
Sephora, Carrefour Laval, 3035 Le Carrefour Blvd., Montreal, 450-688-8886, www.sephora.com
March 28th, 2012
We met the singer at The Bridal Boudoir Affair (she co-hosted the event) and couldn’t resist grilling her about her to-die-for complexion. She graciously accepted to spill her skin secrets (and a little bit more!).
Your skincare routine is...
Simple! I wash my face with LaRoche-Posay Effaclar and follow-up with two Reversa products: EyeCare ($35) to remove dark circles and puffiness and UV Anti-Wrinkle Cream with SPF 15 ($36). I stay out of the sun, so when I want a bronzed look, I use self-tanner or makeup like Benefit Get Even ($30) in a shade darker than my skin tone.
Your three favourite beauty products are...
Aveeno body cream, Chanel VitaLumiere Satin Smoothing Fluid Makeup SPF 15 ($56), and L’Oréal Paris Telescopic Explosion Mascara.
You love to shop at...
Small boutiques on St-Laurent and Old Montreal—there are so many! I also love Style Studio & Boutique in St-Leonard and the usual suspects like Holt Renfrew, Browns, BCBGMAXAZRIA, Zara and H&M.
The song most played on your iPod is...
"Lilac Wine" by Jeff Buckley.
—As told to Christine Laroche
Photo Credit: Alexandre Deslauriers