March 27th, 2012
Icebreaker merino wool baselayers are our ski slope staple, but a new purchase has us taking our favourite sporty label to the streets.
At the heart of any good wardrobe is a solid roster of high-quality basics, which is why we’re loving the New Zealand-based brand’s Journey collection – and couldn’t resist taking home the gorgeous heathered grey henley ($119.99) when we last visited their Montreal flagship.
So flattering, perfectly stretchy, ultra-soft, cozy in any weather… It’s the ultimate wear-anywhere, keep-forever piece that we’ll pair with everything from a patterned pencil skirt (for effortless, J.Crew-esque chic) to jeans and Cons (a.k.a. the perfect brunch ensemble).
You can never go wrong with an investment in enduring style. —Christine Laroche
Icebreaker, 1515 Ste-Catherine St. W., Montreal, 514-933-3686, www.icebreaker.com
March 22nd, 2012
Spring cleaning isn’t all scrubbing floors and washing windows: It’s also about sprucing up your sartorial style. We grilled Les Effrontés’ Monica Giliati for her top wardrobe cleaning tips.
2. Try everything on and sort into three piles:
• Keep everything that fits well and that you like, or that has potential with the help of a tailor.
• Give garments that don’t fit your body, lifestyle or personal style. Donate them to friends and family or a charity (YWCA’s boutique Fringues collects clothing for female professionals, 514-866-9941).
• Toss anything that is stained, smelly, damaged, washed out… Learn to let go!
3. Put everything back in your closet, sorting garments by either outfit or category. Use fabric or wooden hangers (a pack of 40 fabric hangers at Costco is $14.99) for everything except knits, which should be folded.
For three more tips from Monica, check out the Editors' Diary. – As told to Christine Laroche
Les Effrontes, 980 Ste-Catherine St. W., 3rd floor, Montreal, 514-521-4734, www.leseffrontes.com
March 21st, 2012
We’re done with neon-hued cleaning products with fragrance names like “Spring Meadows,” and “Morning Dew,” because, quite frankly, they all just smell of chemicals.
Instead, we’re reaching for our arsenal of J.R. Watkins products: All natural, gorgeous apocathery-esque packaging, beautiful fragrances. Much better!
As the company’s Senior Product Development Manager Kate Mannor told us, there is a connection between scent and mood, and nothing makes us stabby like a whiff of bleach. Lavender, on the other hand? Lovely.
The Natural All-Purpose Cleaner ($6.29) is as pretty as our most posh potions, so we’re leaving it out in plain sight year-round in the hopes of maybe inspiring on-a-whim cleaning. Maybe. —Christine Laroche
At Pharmaprix, 1500 Ste-Catherine St. W., Montreal, 514-933-4744, www.pharmaprix.ca
March 20th, 2012
A new season means non-negotiable changes to our beauty routine.
We went to Lise Watier Cosmétiques International Makeup Artist and local celeb (those curly blonde locks are truly unforgettable!) David Vincent for his seasonal tricks of the trade.
Clean your brushes. Nix bacteria and start your beauty routine fresh: Simply spray Makeup Brush Cleaner ($14) on your tools and wipe them clean with a cloth.
Change your mascara. Your tube should be tossed every three months, so use the first day of the season as a reminder to change it. New season, new mascara! So simple.
Exfoliate and moisturize. Climatic changes are rough on skin, so this is no time to skimp on exfoliation or moisturizing. My personal skin-quenching fave is Lise Watier Skin Destress Moisurizing Mask ($29).
Bronzed beauty. Lose the grey look and inject some light into your complexion. To get a healthy glow, sweep bronzer where the sun would naturally hit your face: Cheekbones, forehead, chin and nose.) —As told to Christine Laroche
The Bay, 585 Ste-Catherine W., Montreal, 514-281-4422, www.thebay.com
March 15th, 2012
Hot on the heels of the Marni x H&M collection comes another chic-meets-chic collab that lands in stores (and online) today.
Diane von Furstenberg – a.k.a the queen of wrapdresses and prints – has created a capsule collection for GapKids (from $23 to $123).
So while we can’t help but be bummed out that we’re over three feet and probably won’t fit into any of the too-cute-for-words pieces, we are happy to be giving the little ladies in our life their very first (of many, no doubt) DVF dress.
Talk about some haute tots! – Christine Laroche
Gap Kids, 705 Ste-Catherine W., Montreal, 514-281-3118 and online at www.gapcanada.ca
March 14th, 2012
The tradition of the sugar shack runs deep in Quebecois culture, and with his second book, celebrated Chef Martin Picard has made it his mission share his passion for cooking with maple syrup.
Now of course, there’s nothing tame or predictable about this eccentric chef, so Au Pied de Cochon Sugar Shack ($69.99 at Indigo), is a far cry from your average cookbook. Case in point? A recipe for squirrel sushi. Racy photos of semi-nude women. A chapter on hunting.
But past the shocking bits are some compelling reads about the maple syrup making process, what it’s like to run the Cabane À Sucre in the spring and some succulent recipes (including to die for desserts) featuring the star ingredient of the season: maple.
Seeing as Picard’s Cabane À Sucre is sold out for the season, whipping up some of his recipes is the next best thing. We'll take a pass on the squirrel, though! —Christine Laroche
Indigo, 1500 McGill College Ave., Montreal, 514-281-554, www.chapters.indigo.ca
February 28th, 2012
Beauty on a budget just got a whole lot easier thanks to a cult classic European brand that is landing on shelves at Pharmaprix this week.
Essence isn’t only the world’s top value beauty brand, it also has an incredibly loyal following of fans and a slew of pretty prestigious awards under its belt.
And yes, we love our chi-chi (read: pricey) designer products but we also have a soft spot for cheap thrills. Nail polishes for $1.49 a pop, lush lipstick for $2.99, mega- volume mascara for $4.99, eyeshadow quads for $3.99... Who can resist? (And why would you?!).
Le cheap, c’est chic! —Christine Laroche
Pharmaprix, 1 Place Ville Marie, 514-875-1593, www.pharmaprix.ca
February 27th, 2012
Like any training camp, we’ll need stretchy pants and runners to attend this one, but for entirely different reasons.
The last Cupcake Camp raised $34,500 for charity, but 2,000 cupcake fanatics were turned away from the overbooked event. The idea behind the Cupcake Training Camp? Give everyone a chance to attend—and practice for the main event coming up this fall!
A $20 ticket will get us six cupcakes a beverage, and proceeds will be donated to Kids Help Phone and La Tablée des Chefs.
Will we share? Maybe, but don’t count on it: This is all part of our intense training regimen. —Christine Laroche
Cupcake Training Camp, 175 President-Kennedy, Montreal, www.cupcakecamp.net
February 20th, 2012
Wayfarers? Check. Danish and coffee? No prob. The only thing keeping us from a Holly Golightly moment in Montreal was a Tiffany & Co. store!
Upon entering through the Art Deco-inspired doors (a nod to the iconic NYC store), we cooed over a baby china set, almost slapped down our credit card for an Elsa Peretti Wave ring ($435) and dreamed about a mind-blowingly beautiful aquamarine pin priced at $140,000!
Feeling blue just got a sparkly new, Audrey-approved meaning. —Christine Laroche
Tiffany & Co., 1290 Sherbrooke St. W., Montreal, 514-842-6953, www.tiffany.ca
February 16th, 2012
Another month, another festival, and in February, the city shines during Montreal en Lumière, a.k.a. the High Lights Festival which starts today.
A major highlight of the festival is always the Nuit Blanche (February 25), and you’d be wise to start looking at the schedule now: Activities range from outdoor swimming at Place Bonaventure (yes, please!) and watching the Biodôme’s penguins take an outdoor stroll (adorbs) to a show by Bran Van 3000.
We’ll start grabbing those extra Zzz now—we’re going to need 'em later. – Christine Laroche
February 16 to February 26, 514-288-9955, www.montrealenlumiere.com