April 23rd, 2012
Who remembers her first skin care regimen? As a teen I used to slap on Oil of Olay like cream cheese on toast and I was faithful to just one cleanser: Simple.
Launched in 1960 in the U.K. (every girl I knew started with Simple) the brand took a ‘no nasties’ approach before it was fashionable. Simple cleansers, scrubs and creams contain no colour, perfume and fuss and are also incredibly reasonable (hence, the teen/student fan base).
Today, I still carry Simple's kind to skin cleansing facial wipes with me wherever I go; equally handy for sippy cup spills and mascara runs. –Athena Tsavliris
Now available in Canada at Shoppers Drug Mart across the GTA.
March 26th, 2012
Because beauty doesn’t have to cost a pretty penny, we’re spilling the deets on our best-loved drugstore products. Trust us: They are as affordable as they are awesome
Simple Skin Care
A staple since our teen years, Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser ($9.19) is still the best sensitive-skin cleanser we’ve ever come across.
The gold standard of hairspray, find me a stylist that doesn’t swear by L'Oréal Elnett Satin Hairspray ($11.99).
Back to Basics
Why spend a fortune on artisan lip balms when good old Vaseline ($1.99) will do? No girl should be without it.
Quick Change Artist
We change our polish as often as our pants (yes, daily) so there’s no point in shelling out on expensive lacquers. Sally Hansen’s Complete Salon Manicure Nail Polish ($6.99) is five-steps-in-one. Save on time and cash.
Beautifully packaged hand-milled soaps belong
among our delicates. To keep us squeaky clean, we choose the ever-so-lovely Dove ($1.99 for a 2 pack). —Athena Tsavliris
All products available at Shoppers Drug Mart, www.shoppersdrugmart.ca
February 17th, 2012
Why do things in a man’s wash bag seem more interesting than our own? Much to his chagrin, here’s what we pillage every day:
If ‘men sweat and ladies perspire’ we may need some help. Alcohol and aluminum- free, the eucalyptus deodorant from Malin+Goetz keeps us dry as a duchess. $20 at Jacob & Sebastian, 622 Queen St. W., Toronto, 674-345-0478, www.jacobandsebastian.com
Our boy likes his hair products (lucky us) and we routinely dip into his jar of Kerastase Homme Densifying Modeling Paste. It’s great for taming fly-aways and we love the smell. $35 at www.kerastase.ca
The old-school barbers of Florence might not approve but Proraso isn’t just for signori. The brush and shaving cream combo that Sweet Cheeks uses on his five-o-clock works wonders on our legs. Get great tips for a close shave here. From $7 at Shoppers Drugmart, www.shoppersdrugmart.com
While we’re at it we may as well take the wash bag too. This handsome one from WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie is made from recycled cotton canvas. It’s roomy enough for all his haul, plus our own. $225 at www.mrporter.com —Marianne Wisenthal
January 9th, 2012
With so many good, eco-conscious cleansers, moisturizers, and cosmetics out there, it’s never been easier to go green.
Featuring everything from cleansers and body oils and sunscreens, this Quebec-based company is all about keeping it natural. Smith Farms is the brainchild of sisters Julia and Rebecca Sinclair-Smith and boasts products made from 100 per cent natural ingredients, free of nasty parabens, pesticides, or artificial dyes.
Each product, including a medicinal marshmallow face cream, ($28) goat’s milk soap ($15) and shea butter lip balm ($5) is handmade at the family farm in Western Quebec and packaged simply using eco-friendly materials.
Just think, cosmetics good enough to eat. —Athena Tsavliris
See website for stockists, www.smithfarmsproducts.com
September 26th, 2011
Fancy a beauty ritual with great returns on little output?
It’s no wonder beauty editors are raving about the Binchotan facial puff ($19). Who knew flushed cheeks and a barefaced glow could be this simple? The sponge is made with konjac vegetable and charcoal powder which both have innate detoxifying and exfoliating properties. Use daily for skin that’s clean, bright and smooth.
It only lasts a couple of months before you’ll need to chuck it, so take our word for it, and buy a few. —Athena Tsavliris
At Jacob and Sebastian, 622 Queen St. W., Toronto, 647-345-0478, www.jacobandsebastian.com
September 12th, 2011
He rocked the beard way before it was cool. Now, he’s reuniting with the razor. Equip your lad with the right arsenal and he’ll never go ape again.
Start with a good blade that has been warmed in the sink or under hot running water. Crown Shaving Co. has all the products he’ll need. A pre-shave formula ($18) to help reduce burn, nicks and cuts, a thick and silky shaving cream ($26) infused with peppermint and eucalyptus, and a soothing after-shave lotion ($18) to nourish and hydrate freshly shaved skin. The products (made in small batches in Toronto) are alcohol and paraben-free and come in apothecary style packaging.
He’ll look smooth, glowy and polished. Your mum may (finally) approve. —Athena Tsavliris
Visit www.crownshavingco.com for stockists.
September 9th, 2011
If you have completely and utterly perfect skin, well, you can go for a long walk and not come back. This one's for the rest of us.
Women with problem skin who've “tried everything” know that acne products can be as flawed as what they're trying to fix. The ones that kill sebum and bacteria also strip your skin, making it flake faster than a fairweather friend. And the ones that are gentle and organic just don't do the trick.
Enter the happy medium. FORMULAB, developed locally by Dr. Sandy Skotnicki, is an acne-targeting system combining your standard active ingredients (anti-bacterial sodium compounds in the soap-free cleanser, witch hazel in the astringent toner, benzoyl peroxide in the spot cream) with soothing botanical extracts (grapefruit, green tea and cucumber) to keep skin healthily balanced. Products are sold individually or in two sets: one for young adults, one for real adults, both a reasonable $97.
—Sarah Nicole Prickett
August 15th, 2011
From moon manis to minx to crystal studded acids, who needs accessories when you’ve got statement talons?
Yeah, around here, we love our weekly manicures. But when we’re pushed for time, stick-on polish is the next best thing. We’ve tried a few, and Sephora’s are by far the easiest to apply. Stick, snip and file. They last a few days and come in an assortment of prints (leopard is the cat’s meow). —Athena Tsavliris
At Sephora stores across the GTA, www.sephora.com
August 8th, 2011
Ever since enormous, kitchen-sink handbags reached critical mass in 2007, when one or more Olsens were routinely seen wearing Balenciagas they could hide inside, bags have been getting smaller, tinier even. But where do you put all your shiz? Solution: get smaller shiz. Here, a handful of my favourite pochette-sized products.
Amazing Concealer to Go, $28 at Sephora. It's teensy (0.2 oz), and you don't need a lot: highly pigmented and smoooooth, this multipurpose concealer fixes almost anything on the spot.
Sephora by OPI “Havana Nights” Mini-Polish Collection, $18 at Sephora. Two swank metallics and two summer-bold mattes: what, you need more?
Mistura's 6-in-1 Beauty Solution, $54.99 online. This streamlined compact has it all: brush, eye/lip applicator, mirror and an anywhere-you-want it illuminating powder (approximate colour: sunrise) for fair-to-medium skin. Take your glow to go.
Oribe Signature Dry Texturizing Spray, Travel-Size, $20 at Gee Beauty. I haven't brushed my hair since 1995 and I'm lucky if I wash it once a week, so yeah, I live and die by this stuff. It makes magic out of mess. And now it comes in a carry-on-sized canister, so you can freshen your gross summer hair after pool dips, long bike rides and sweaty sweaty dance-offs.
NARS Pure Matte Lipstick in “Carthage,” $26 at The Hudson's Bay Company, Holt Renfrew and Sephora. This is a brilliant, versatile, sexy-hot pink. NARS makes their lipsticks with a minimum of packaging and fuss, so it slips in wherever you've got room left in that 'lil' thing.
—Sarah Nicole Prickett
July 25th, 2011
If you get super-dry feet in the summertime—and if you don't, what kind of goddess are you?—we have just the pedicurist's secret for you.
It's like whipped cream for your toes: an ultra-light, odourless white mousse that absorbs almost instantly and leaves feet moist, not greasy. Never heard of it? Footlogix, made in Toronto by a “pediceutical” company, is found primarily at fancy salons. But you can buy it yourself and use post-shower for a quick and delicious-feeling daily fix.
Plus, imagine the possibilities for foot fetishists.... —Sarah Nicole Prickett
$22 at Donato Salon & Spa at the Shops at Don Mills, Yorkdale and other locations; www.donato.ca