April 24, 2014


I am, along with many of you, doing my best to be educated about the products I use, and incorporate more natural alternatives where I can. After all, things that are applied to the skin do get absorbed into the bloodstream in some way or another (scary, right?).

Plus, the products we rinse down the drain regularly goes into our waterways and eco-system. Have you heard about New York banning any products with microbeads? It's real--those little exfoliating wonders are showing up in our Lakes.

I've written before about what ingredients I'm wary about when I'm researching a product I'm thinking of buying, and I do my best to avoid the main no-no's: mineral oil, silicones, parabens/preservatives and sulfates.

In tune with this week's Earth Day, Weleda is offering you the chance to win their Haircare Collection! Now is a great time to re-assess what you're using, become more aware of the ingredients and more concious about how it affects your surroundings.

Oats are hydrating and soothing--remember when you had chicken pocks and you would lie in that oatmeal bath for relief? So, really, why not apply this natural ingredient to your hair and take the #WeledaHairDare?

Fill out the form below for your chance to win their Oat Shampoo, Conditioner and Treatment, as well as the Wheat Shampoo, Millet Shampoo and the Rosemary Hair Oil! Contest closes next Thursday, May 1st and midnight. Approximate value of $75 CAD.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

April 23, 2014


hen I was in Grade 11, my friend Joanna went on a 3-week exchange to Australia. When she returned, she walked into Biology class one day and thrust a little yellow packet that said 'Vegemite' in front of me and said 'Have some! It tastes like chocolate!'. So, being the food obsessive that I am, I stuck a huge glob of it in my mouth and immediately felt like I was gonna hurl. Let me tell you--it did not taste like chocolate.

For those of you in the know, Vegemite or Marmite is a dark brown paste made of leftover yeast extract. For some reason, British and Australian people love it, however, I find it absolutely revolting. The smell and taste are disgusting and strong. After tasting some, I was counting down the minutes until class was over so I could go home and brush my teeth 5 times and mouthwash. Thanks, Joanna.

Anyways, I hate to start this post off on a bad note, but Vegemite is exactly what Masque Vivant smells like. While applying this super thick and goopy paste to my face, I was immediately brought back to my high school days. Yes, it does absolutely stink (Jordan was across the room and said YOU STINK), however, you sort of get used to the smell, and really, it's all worth it because it WORKS.

When I had my Biologique Recherche facial back in March, my facialist, Ellis, mixed this mask with the Masque VIP O2, as per Dr. Allouche's recommendation. I have not, however, repeated this (purely because I do not feel like dropping $140 on two face masks at once), but I mix the Vivant with a pinch of baking soda and a few drops of water for blackhead removal abilities.

So, in true BR style, being the Hermès of skincare and all, this mask isn't cheap. It's $77, but it works. And for me, right now, I am so frustrated with my skin, that it's OK. I'm still on the Differin, and it feels like I am in a constant state of 'purging' which is really frustrating. I just needed something to help with my constant breakouts.

This mask purifies the face, leaving it super clean. First I double cleanse, follow up with P50W (just use your exfoliating toner), the smooth on the foamy brown paste. After application, leave it alone for 20 minutes or so, and it hardens but does not pull on the face, crack or leave skin feeling tight or dry. Yes, you will look semi-terrifying and sort of look like you have leprosy as the baking soda bubbles, but you definitely see results the next morning--the redness had pretty much gone, skin is more refined, and pimples have significantly reduced in size. Skin is more clear and glowing, and all the little bumps under my skin are clearing up (!!).

Since I've been so fed up with my face, I used it 4 or 5 times in the first week, but after that I've continued with 2 or 3 times a week. After removal, I apply the Differin, and then a moisturizing mask (really liking Vichy's Aqualia Thermal Night Spa).

Biologique Recherche products can be found in Canada at:

One to One Studio (Toronto)
Heritage Way Medical Spa (Oakville)
Femme Fatale Spa (Barrie)
La Chambre des Dames (Montréal)
Bren's Skin Care (Manitoba)
Kolor Twist (Calgary)

April 22, 2014


Angela, my sister, has long, gorgeous, curly hair that unfortunately gets oily the second day. She is, after all, a teenager, so of course it's hormones that are to blame for this.

To make her hair even more difficult to deal with, her ends are very dry, which can be the case for a lot of long maned girls like her. How can you possibly treat both of these things?

I passed along Klorane's Oil Control Shampoo with Nettle along with their Desert Date Mask for a deep conditioning treatment to try and help with her haircare woes. 

Angela was actually super impressed. After her second time using the shampoo, her hair was a lot less greasy on the second day--she didn't even need to use dry shampoo! This was a first. For those who have a drier hair type, but greasy roots, Angela suggested that you apply the Oil Control shampoo to the roots and a more hydrating shampoo to the lengths. 

To really hydrate her dry ends, I recommended that she leave on the mask as long as possible. She left the conditioner on for four hours before rincing and her hair was softer than ever before. A match made in heaven!

Remember: Hit up a Klorane counter near you for a hair care consultation and free samples! With the purchase of two products, you will receive a travel-sized dry shampoo.

Toronto Eaton Centre: April 22-26 & May 7-10
Yorkdale: May 1-4


April 21, 2014


Now that Easter has come and gone, the next main event is Mother's Day. And while your mom will always say that they don't want anything, you know that they always would like something. And this something is it.

This hand cream smells like a bouquet of expensive roses, but this isn't your grandma's rose scent--it's light, soft and elegant--sophisticated without being overpowering. The light pink cream is thick and feels luxurious on hands, absorbs quickly and hydrates without feeling greasy.

Plus, it not only works as a wonderful hand cream, but it also looks beautiful. The tube would look gorgeous on any nightstand or side table.

It retails for around $40, which makes it one of those objects that you might not want to buy for yourself, but would love to receive.

P.S. If your mom isn't a hand cream kind of lady, Aerin also makes so many other lovely products that are luxe and beautiful.


April 17, 2014


LAST WEEK we talked at-home gel nails, but for those of us who want the longest lasting results and can't be bothered to tinker with them ourselves (ahem, me), we turn to the salons for our gel manicures.

Basically, they begin off by gluing a hard extension to your nail, which starts to look very Ripley's Longest Nails World Record (it's gross, really). Once they've got the whole set adhered, they trim then file down to the shape and length you'd like. This is where the "fake nail" appearance comes from, and at first it feels really weird and the constant fear of ripping one off somewhat takes over your life (but only for a little while, trust me). Then, they essentially paint on layers of gel, curing briefly under a lamp in between layers. The final two layers are your chosen colour, which dries to a shiny finish.

Depending on how fast your nails grow, you'll need to get a "refill" every two to three weeks ( I usually make it to three). This is usually significantly cheaper because they're only redoing the gel layers, not the extensions. They simply file off the colour, clean behind the nail, and reapply the gels. So as you can imagine, as your nails grow out, the extensions get filed down and over time, the nail is no longer an extension but just your nail itself. For someone like me who can barely grow her nails, this is amazing, and I'm completely content with my results. Some say this destroys your nails, but if you're diligent with the upkeep, you shouldn't see any visible issues, just a consistent, neat manicure.

--Anna Raponi

Anna gets her nails done at Beauty Tips and Spa in Oakville. 

April 16, 2014


As I've said many a time before, it was all about gold for the Spring/Summer 2014 runways. Gold on the clothes, in the makeup, everywhere.

Kure Bazaar, a relatively new nail polish brand from Paris, takes their colour inspiration straight from the runways, so it's not a surprise that 'Or Pur' (pure gold for you non-French speakers) is part of their collection.

While being on-trend, Kure polishes are made from eco-natural formulas--they are 4-free (no formaldehyde, toluene, dibutyl phthalate, or synthetic camphor) and 85% of the polish is of natural origin based on wood pulp, wheat, cotton, potatoes and corn.

Knowing this, I was pretty skeptical about how well this polish would apply, but it was surprisingly really fluid, and applied really smoothly, had great coverage and lasts just as long as regular nail polish. One coat of this soft gold shade leaves a bit of the whites of your nails peeking through (which looks pretty cool, actually, sort of futuristic French manicure), and a second coat gives full opacity.

Kure Bazaar is available in Toronto at The Detox Market, and online from BeautyHabit and Sprit Beauty Lounge.


April 15, 2014


As you know, I adore Klorane's cult favourite dry shampoo (this post is definitely a throwback) for soaking up any oil and add volume to my hair on it's second or third day. When I was sent a bunch of their hair care products, I was expecting the same great results, and I wasn't disappointed.

I have to say--I'm normally a bit of snob when it comes to hair care products (I'm normally one for salon brands), but these products really work and are great value for your money. Plus! You can rack up dem Optimum points while you're at it.

Lucky for all of you, Klorane will be running pop-up counter at select Shoppers Drug Marts near you during the months of April and May. Visit them to receive a consultation and free samples and coupons--and if you buy 2 products, you'll receive a travel-size dry shampoo!

Visit them at:

Fairview Mall: April 16, 17, 19
Toronto Eaton Centre: April 22-26 & May 7-10
Yorkdale: May 1-4

Below are a select few of my favourites, but definitely look into the rest of their ranges for what suits your hair best!

Volume and Texture
The flax line, made to give fine hair volume, really does what it says. The shampoo is really light and perfectly cleans the hair to create fluffy, natural volume. If you want to go a bit further, the weightless Leave-In Spray With Flax Fiber will definitely give you that extra oomph, no blow-drying required and no sticky residue.

Letting my hair dry naturally is great and all for it's overall health, but curly hair just isn't as sleek and shiny as straight hair. I was excited and a bit nervous to try out the Shine-Boosting Water (I thought it might make my hair greasy and weigh it down) but it wasn't heavy at all and gave my hair a natural glisten to it. The Conditioning Balm is really very light, so I wouldn't recommend this for dry hair, but does add extra lustre.
Oily Prone
My 14-year old sister Angela has hair that tends to get greasy quickly (teenage hormones) and this shampoo is helping to regulate the oil production. It's ultra-gentle so it won't strip the hair (and make you produce more oil).
Dry Hair
Along with having oily roots, Angela has long, curly hair with dry ends. The mask with desert date is perfect for repairing any damage and making the rough hair soft and silky. The leave-in cream is perfect for sealing in moisture on dry ends. I wouldn't recommend this line for fine hair, but it definitely great for coarse, thick hair.


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