December 2nd, 2013
Winter months can be tough: we tend to work longer hours, exercise less and spend most of our time indoors.
All of this can lead to stress and anxiety, and even worse, skin issues. One magical little plant soothes it all: relax with L’Occitane Lavender Foaming Bath ($29 at L’Occitane, left); nourish your skin with Weleda’s Lavender Relaxing Body Oil ($21 at Whole Foods, right); refresh with Green Beaver’s Natural Deodorant ($5.99 at Choices); and escape with Urban Spa’s Lavender Sleep Pillow ($13.99 at well.ca).
November 18th, 2013
We can trust Canadian beauty companies to create natural beauty products meant for use in cold weather. Three of our pics to get you and your skin through the next few months.
Consonant Skincare’s HydrExtreme serum has won a number of beauty awards, and we aren’t surprised. Mix it with your regular moisturizer to increase your skin’s ability to absorb moisture, especially on windy winter days. It is 100 per cent natural, lightweight, and highly effective – we are hooked. 10ml, $72, www.consonantskincare.com
Cake’s Rejuvenating Oil for body, face and hair is a versatile product you can use head to toe. Scented with orange peel and made with inca inchi oil, the richest plant-based source of omega 3, 6, and 9, this product will improve texture, smooth skin tone, and condition split ends. Free of mineral oil, parabens, and all of the other additives, this 3-in-1 product is great for a winter weekend when you are traveling light. 118ml, $36, www.cakebeauty.com
For those of you who prefer a thick, luxurious cream, Escents Aromatherapy Almond Latte Shea Body Butter (Rich Formula) does the job well. With a base of shea butter, grapeseed and avocado oil, topped with almond essential oil, this cream is the ultimate cold weather skin nourishment. We like the smaller 50ml tubs ($9.95) so we can carry one in our bag and butter up when needed. $200ml, $26.95, www.escentsaromatherapy.com—Alexandra Suhner Isenberg
October 28th, 2013
With labelling terms like organic, holistic, and natural dominating the beauty aisle, it’s really hard to figure out what products are safe, and which ones we should avoid.
So we turn to Think Dirty for advice on our cosmetics and skincare. This Canadian app has over 12,000 products in its database, and rates them based on carcinogenicity, reproductive toxicity, and allergies. Based on government lists, non-profit health organizations, and regulatory agencies, the product evaluations have forced us to reconsider a few of our staples. And if you can’t find the product you use, you can scan the barcode and Think Dirty will research the product and get back to you with information.
We also love that this app is free, because we are putting all our pennies to buying new beauty products. —Alexandra Suhner Isenberg
October 21st, 2013
Keeping up with the latest beauty products and trends is overwhelming (and expensive) but there is a way to test dozens of while keeping the pocketbook in check.
A $12 monthly subscription to Canadian company TopBox will deliver four top beauty products samples right to your door. With a 100 brands in the mix (including the likes of Benefit, Aveda and Clinique), boxes can be customized to match your skin care needs.
Finally, mail to look forward to. —Sara Samson
October 19th, 2013
The dreaded email from the classroom teacher; the creepy diagrams taped to the preschool door: yes, it's head lice season again!
And just in time for hat-swapping and costume-sharing, we've discovered a drugstore shampoo that could save us a whole lot of grief.
We knew the little critters don't like the smell of mint, but tea tree oil seems to be their real nemesis. We're lathering the whole family up with the new Tea Tree Shampoo ($5.99) from Rexall's just-launched house brand, Be.Better.
Why would any mom not try this? That's a real head scratcher. —Sarah Bancroft
$5.99, to find store locations across Canada visit www.rexall.ca
September 30th, 2013
It was a life-altering trip to Morocco and an ensuing romance (with both hammam spas and a fellow) that gave rise to Vancouver-based skincare line Saadia Organics.
The secret weapon — and our new one — is their vegan Argan oil (from $12 for 10ml). While most versions available on the market are machine-pressed at high temperatures that often boil away nutrients, this one is cold-pressed by hand in Essaouira, Morocco, retaining all the good ingredients. There is an element of social good in its production, too, with the company employing and empowering local women through ethical co-op programs.
While it's only natural to think oil worsens skin issues, Argan oil actually cleanses and detoxifies, meaning pesky pimples and dry dermis can be fixed with just a few drops. Did we mention it also takes care of stuck zippers? Put some on a cotton swab, dab away and voila.
Oil, oil, take away our troubles. —May Globus
August 26th, 2013
From monogrammed flats to preppy stripes, Michael Kors' approachable and polished aesthetic is all over our closet.
And now our make-up bag, too.
The newly launched Michael Kors' beauty line includes bold nail and lip colours and flashy bronzers, perfect for the lady-who-power-lunches. The entire line adds a little glamour to everyday life and the luxe gold packaging is mesmerizing. But it's not just the outside that glimmers - the lightly scented Liquid Shimmer Dry Oil Spray ($65) glides on for the sun-kissed look MK just adores.
Getting ready for work just got a lot more jet-set. —Sara Samson
August 5th, 2013
Cara Delevingne, Arizona Muse—the girls with brows are unstoppable these days.
I admit I spent the majority of my 20s “un-Brooke Shields-ing” (this is a legit term in the beauty industry) my eyebrows — hey, we all have regrets! I’m now not only letting them grow, but I added a step to my daily makeup routine to exaggerate their fullness. In the past, brow pencils have always been rather harsh and often too heavy. NARS’ new Brow Perfector ($22) is gentle, with velvety texture that doesn’t give you the unsightly Sharpie look. Its companion, the Brow Gel ($22), keeps everything tidy and in place.
The best thing about a full arch, other than looking like the hot runway “It” girl? It will make you look younger, a distraction from wrinkles and such. —Anya Georgijevic
$22 at www.narscosmetics.ca
July 22nd, 2013
Apologies for getting that Cher song stuck in your head, but turns out one really can turn back time.
The time traveling magic is due to Vitamin C8, a very high-potency one. Philosophy’s new Time In a Bottle serum goes deep beneath the skin’s surface to tackle a loss of radiance due to sun damage (that means unsightly age spots). Think of Vitamin C as a bleaching agent, chipping away at discolouration day by day. If that doesn’t sound like magic enough, the serum also leaves the skin divinely soft to the touch, so it not only looks good, but feels great.
And that's a dose of truth serum. —Anya Georgijevic
$75 at Sephora.ca
July 1st, 2013
Our country turns 146 today, yet it’s still as hip as ever. We celebrate this momentous day with True North designed and made products.
Splitting their time between Vancouver and Toronto, Muttonhead Collective does unisex apparel meant for exploring our great land. Its Camping Hoodie is ideal for summer excursions, camping and beyond. And—look!—it comes in red. $132 at Muttonhead Collective and these retailers.
Loyal Loot has had its share of loyal admirers since the very beginning (one of them is pre-Kim Kanye). Not a surprise, since this Calgary-based design collective’s Log Bowl is as Canadiana chic as it gets. $77-$185 at Provide.
They keep with Italian cooking traditions, but hail from Vancouver: Sugo Sauce is causing quite a stir in kitchens across Canada. Choose from Classic Style, the spicy Angry Style, or, um, the traditional Whore Style—saucy in more ways than one. $10 each at Sugo Sauce and these retailers.
Toronto-based Arts & Crafts music label just celebrated its ten year anniversary a week ago, with this special compilation by the artists on its roster. That would be Broken Social Scene, Amy Millan, and Feist—get it now. $9-$16 at Arts & Crafts.