Because I Love Soap So F'ing Much

I've written this before on this site - I never use body wash. It doesn't do it for me. I need to feel that contact of product to body..in a bar form. I find body washes just slide off or dilute with water before I can get a good scrub in. Also, I've been making a strong effort to use bar soaps with clean ingredients, So Queue the list of natural bar soaps that I'm currently loving and where to find them!

woodlot charcoal soap

Woodlot - They have a variety of soaps with great scents and great packaging. Show here are Wildwoods (scents of vanilla, orange, cedarwood, fir, pine, and eucalyptus with charcoal added), Cinder (with scents of betonite clay, french grey salt, vetiver essential oil & cedarwood essential oil) and Cascadia (scents of cedarwood, fir, and patchouli). Shop them HERE.

plant apothecary wake up soap

Plant Apothecary Wake Up Soap - This bar is scented with organic essential oils of rosemary and lemongrass and it's quite nice to use for morning showers. And I really like it's a big bar (it feels good in my man hands!) Shop it HERE.

labor of love toronto

This is a collection I splurged on at Labour Of Love in Toronto:
Leaves of Trees Eucalyptus Mint Soap - Shop it HERE.
Wilderness Soap Co Wood + Charcoal Soap - Shop it HERE.
Carriage 44 No. 1 Soap - Shop it HERE.
Leaves of Trees French White Clay Shaving Bar - This is actually a shaving bar soap. I like it but it tends to clog the razor after a few swipes which requires a good rinse every so often while shaving. Shop it HERE.

bulle et molecules

Bulles et Molecules - A small batch brand from Quebec. Lots of nice scents. My favorite is the peppermint and eucalyptus. Shop HERE.

Vapour Beauty - For Clean Cosmetics

vapour organic beauty logo
vapour beauty

I first heard of Vapour Organic Beauty on Instagram and I was totally intrigued. Then, when I was in New York for Credo Beauty's Nolita store launch I got to explore the line a little more during their media event. The first thing I noticed was the nice sleek metal packaging and complimentary label colours of blues and silver. 

More recently I had a nice chat with the brand over Instagram and following that I received a package in the mail with four products from the line. I was super excited to have more time to play with the products and see how they worked long term. Here's what I thought:

Visionary Advanced Solution Serum

vapour beauty visionary serum

If you read my blog you'll know that I'm a huge fan of serums, in fact I don't use anything but serums on my face (no creams or lotions at all). I've tried a lot, some I like and some I don't. When I pumped out Vapour's Visionary Serum it was not like any serum I'm used to using. It came out thick and slightly opaque. After a quick look at the ingredient list and a chat with the PR team I learned that this serum is designed to dry down to a satin finish (for me it's almost an instant matte finish). The formula contains dry plant oils of camellia seed and evening primrose, both of which are extremely hydrating. The serum's thickness comes from beeswax and the texture is from the peptide itself which has been clinically proven to reduce wrinkles by 39% with regular use. Not bad eh?

My skin is quite 'normal' and doesn't require special attention during cold or hot months, I can stick with my regular skincare routine throughout all four seasons. And it's a bonus that my skin drinks up serums leaving only enough on the service of my face to give me a healthy subtle sheen. Vapour's Visionary Serum was a total unique experience, it applied nicely and vanished in to my skin leaving behind a soft matte finish. I was surprised how quickly it absorbed and how it didn't appear oily at all. If you're like me and your skin can handle a ton of serum I would recommend a layering process and start with an oil, like Vapour's Essence Oil and then applying Visionary Serum. The combo would be perfect. For me, Visionary Serum is my night time post-cleansing go-to product. I love how soft and matte my skin feels after applying it and I find it perfect for bed time as my face doesn't feel too oily or damp for when my head hits the pillow. And it's nice to know that its doing the work to help reduce wrinkles as I sleep! 

Mesmerize Eyeliner

vapour beauty eye liner

I can't think of a single female who doesn't have a black eye liner. It's a bathroom and/or makeup bag staple. With a price point of $25, Vapour's Mesmerize Eyeliner is a pretty good deal (compared to other niche or pricey mainstream brands). With a brand like Vapour you know you're getting great ingredients that are good for your skin. This is something I really encourage especially for makeup as it comes in contact with areas that are delicate and sensitive, like your eyes. What I look for in a good eye liner is the timing it takes for it to set. It's important to have just the right amount of time of wriggle room before it drys so you can smudge it or blend it. Mesmerize Eyeliner had just the perfect amount of time for me to be able to play around with different levels of smokiness before it set in to place. The pencil also has a smudgy applicator on the other end which is super convenient. For those who aren't great at applying liner this smudgy brush will come in handy to help buff out your line. This eyeliner is a keeper!

Halo Illuminator

vapour beauty highlighter halo

I love a good product that adds glow to the skin. And I've reviewed and used a lot. Some are just too sparkly, too bright or not bright enough. When I first started to use Halo Illuminator I felt like I wasn't achieving any sort of glow from it. It was only when I caught a glance of my face in the light that it really came through. I found out that its intention is not to overpower with illumination. Its purpose is to create a subtle highlighting effect when it catches the light. It's actually just enough too. I find I can wear it everyday (day and night) and feel totally confident that I'm not blinding anyone with shimmer. It's a very pale pink color which blends in beautifully with my skin (if you have darker skin you can still use it, just blend it in a little more. The color will dissipate leaving behind the mica which provides the illuminated effect). I apply it down the center of my nose and on the high points of my cheeks. It also makes a great cream eye shadow if you're in a hurry. And here's a little tip that I found out while trying it out. I applied it under my eyes on a morning that my under eyes looked a bit tired and purple. The product really helped to reflect the light away from that area which made me look a little more fresh and awake. If you follow up with a concealer on top I think you'd be quite happy with the result. Love this Halo stick, it's gonna stay in my bathroom so I can use it every day!

Lux Organic Lip Conditioner

vapour beauty lip conditioner

And lastly, Lux Organic Lip Conditioner. The first thing you should know if you don't already is that I'm crazy about lip balms. I don't go anywhere with out one, if I do I feel naked and slightly panicked. It took me quite some time to make the switch from Chapstick to natural lip balm but now that I'm a full convert I can't go back. Lux has a very mild scent of lemon, helichrysum and calendula which is quite nice. The bullet is super wide so you can easily cover your lips in one swipe leaving them feeling nourished and hydrated. Lux has taken up prime real-estate on my bed side table, which is my most coveted place as I can't go to sleep without slathering my lips in lip balm. Love it.

If you'd like to explore Vapour Organic Beauty for yourself, the line is available directly through their website HERE. Or in the United States at Credo Beauty or Detox Market. In Canada, it's available at Detox Market Canada.

 
 

(Please note that I am an affiliate of Detox Market and Credo Beauty so when you make a purchase through one of the above hyperlinks I receive a commission which helps support me to maintain the fees for my blog.)

An Interview With Silas Tsang

contessa awards 2017
photo via blushes.ca

photo via blushes.ca

The 2016 Contessa Awards, a ceremony awarding Canada's best in all things related to hair, hair stylists and salons, will be held on Sunday, November 6pm at 7pm EST in Toronto. I had the opportunity to interview one of the finalists, Silas Tsang, who is nominated for Canadian Hair Stylist of the Year. 

Also, keep reading until the end. I have an amazing CONTEST ALERT featuring some awesome hair products that are sponsoring the Contessa Awards!  If you would like to watch the awards you can view their live webcast HERE on Sunday evening!

 

How did you get in to hair styling?
At a really young age, I was always look at hair salons’ facades and be very fascinated with the whole environment. I was first formally introduced to the career when I moved to London, England in 1985. I have been working in this profession ever since in London, Hong Kong, Germany and now Ottawa, where I opened Blushes in 2001. 

What are three things we should know about you?
I’m a very shy person, I am very passionate about hair and the profession, and I love learning. 

When you're not in the salon what are your favourite things to do?
When I’m not in the salon, I love day dreaming. 

What's one hair style or cut that will never go out of style?
I think the Bob will never go out of style. 

What hair style or cut do you wish would go out of style?
I wish the “dirty mullet” would go out of style. 

What's your least favourite thing clients ask/tell you when they're in the chair?
My least favourite thing clients ask/tell me when they’re in the chair is when they are convinced they want aspecific look that you’ve already advised won’t be suitable for their hair, face shape, or lifestyle. 

What's your favourite styling product (either brand or type of product)? What's your favourite styling tool?
My favourite styling product is Shu Uemura’s Essence Absolute and my favourite styling tool is the Vess 9-Row Ceramic Brush.

If someone came in for an appointment that had hair like Cousin It and all she said was "I'd like a change". What would you do to them?
The first thing I would do is provide them with a consultation to determine what their lifestyle is like (e.g., how much time they normally spend styling their hair, how often they’d be willing to come to the salon for maintenance, etc.) to establish what kind of styles they would realistically enjoy and be able to reproduce. After this, I establish what looks would compliment their features and their style. My goal is to highlight their best features, thus giving them more confidence. Lastly, I work with current trends and cater them towards the individual so that they are still suitable for their lifestyle. 

If you weren't a hair stylist what would you be doing?
I would be a fashion designer if I wasn’t a hairstylist. 

Favourite genre of music to listen to in the salon is?
My favourite genre of music to listen to in the salon is European contemporary / lounge/ club music.

Where can people find you to check out your work and to enquire about making an appointment?
People can find out more about me and enquire about making an appointment by going to blushes.ca or calling the salon at 613-254-9943. 

Credits:
Name/Nom: Silas Tsang
Category/Catégorie: Canadian Hairstylist | Styliste Canadien de l’année
Salon: Blushes, Ottawa
Makeup/Maquillage: Lan Nguyen-Grealis
Wardrobe/Styliste Mode: Marika Page
Photos: John Rawson

 

View some of Silas' nominated work here:

CONTEST ALERT!

If you'd like a chance to win an incredible prize pack of hair products from the sponsors of The Contessa Awards there are just two things you need to do:
1. Comment below and let us know which is your favourite hair style above
2. Follow @titsupblog on Instagram and repost the photo I have posted of Silas Tsang with hashtag #titsupXcontessa

Rules: 
Canadian entries only for this contest.
The winner's address must be Canadian in order to receive the prize.
Winner will be chosen via a contest app.
Any contest pages won't be considered.
Draw date:, Monday, November 14th, 2016

Do Natural Deodorants Actually Work? And What Ones Are The Best?

what are the best natural deodorants

I'm gonna make this really easy for you by saying that natural deodorants do not work. Or more like they do not work compared to non-natural drug store brands that effectively yet harmfully block your pores from releasing sweat. I have been using natural deodorants for well over a year and have tried so many and the results have pretty much been the same, they are good but not great. But with trying to be almost all 'green' with products I'm not willing to give up on natural deodorants.

At the very beginning of switching to natural pit stick I was basically grabbing ones that smelled nice (mint, lemon or pine always got dibs) and I quickly noticed that my armpits were extremely sore and eventually led to red irritated skin that was quite painful. After some research I found out that some people can react to sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) in deodorants...and I'm one of them. I was kinda annoyed as baking soda is the main active ingredient in natural deodorants as it sucks up all the smell and moisture so I had to switch to baking soda free. So below I've narrowed down my faves in two categories: clay based and baking soda based.

natural deodorant cla

If you're like me and baking soda irritates your skin you'll have to look for ones that are don't have any in the ingredient list (I'm talking about rings of fire under my armpits if baking soda comes in contact). So look for ingredients like diatomaceous earth, bentonite clay or arrowroot powder in the ingredients. There hasn't been any baking soda free natural deodorants that have effectively removed smell for me (there have been times when lifting my arms at the gym has been...interesting) but they do help keep me dry and release some nice scents from essential oils.

ocean bottom soap company

Ocean Bottom Soap Company
My favorite scent from Ocean Bottom is Rosemary Mint. Combined with the steam from my shower this one made my bathroom smell like a spa. The actual product is a bit soft and you can easily smear to much on your pits so start out by using just a little. It also gave me a tingly effect which wears off. The smell alone was worth it for me.
 

adama minerals deodorant

Adama Minerals
Nice smell and nice texture. I'd buy this one again for sure.

herban cowboy deodorant

Herban Cowboy
'Forest' scent is soft yet manly. I'm currently using this one in the mornings. The product is sturdy so applying is easy and it doesn't leave a greasy feeling.

lavilin deodorant

Lavilin
Lavilin is the most expensive of all the ones I tried (it's double the price of all the ones listed above) but it's the one that worked pretty well. It's recommended that you use it at night before bed. Its' scent free which concerned me but read to be bottom of this post for what has been working for me using Lavilin.


natural deodorant baking soda

I can't use these ones any more due to the baking soda but these are the ones that I liked before I developed a rash.

crawford street deodorant

Crawford Street
Great texture and loved the lemon scent. The cute little jar was easy to chuck in to a gym bag too.

lovefresh deodorant

Lovefresh
This was the first natural deodorant I tried and I loved it. I actually thought it was working a bit too until I broke out in a rash. It's possible the formula might have been changed since I used but it actual product was stiff and dragged across my skin which didn't feel so great. It's almost like it needed warming up to help it slide. But the smell was great!

mabrook & co deodorant

Mabrook & Co
This company ONLY makes deodorant so I was hopeful it would be the perfect concoction. I only got to use it once before I broke out (damn you baking soda!) but the smell was nice and it applied well with no residue.

Though I can get stinky by the end of the day this is what I find works best for me. At night I apply Lavilin deodorant before bed and let it do its thing as I sleep. When I wake up and go about my morning routine I swipe on some natural deodorant that has a nice scent (like my recommendations above) so when things can get a bit sweaty at least I'll release a smell that won't cause birds to fall from trees.

Have any other favorites? Let me know in the comments below. I'm still on the hunt for more great ones!

 

How I Keep My Skin Looking Healthy

image.jpg

I have learned over the years that creams and lotions are not for me. I find them heavy and they make my skin feel like its wearing glasses a hung mask which causes my fave to feel sweaty underneath the cream! This is likely caused by waxes that are used in creams. I have tried many oils and have really become a fan of Graydon's selection as they light and breathable and make my skin look and feel healthy and nourished. And the best part is my skin is not overly oily so I can literally apply a ton and my skin drinks it all up.

All Over Elixir Oil

Recently I've been using Graydon Skincare's All Over Elixir Oi (I ran out of their Detox + Renew Serum so I had to choose a back up) and I've really been liking it! The smell is soothing and rich and it leaves skin super hydrated. And best of all it can be used on both face and body. I'm heading on vacation tomorrow and Elixir Oil is seriously going to decrease the size of my toiletry bag. 

graydon elixir oil

Detox + Renew Serum

I've tried so many facial serums and Graydon's Serum is among my faves. My face feels completely nourished and it gives my skin a healthy sheen which I like. My face isn't oily is my skin absorbs what it needs and the rest is left behind to give a nice glow. Love it.

graydon detox + renew serum

Face Food Mineral Mist

After I moisturize with the Elixir Oil or The Serum I douce myself in Face Food which is a clear, scent free mist that contains copper (to help the production of collagen), silver (to kill bacteria), and zinc (to decrease inflammation). I have been spritzing my face after cleansing and moisturizing with it. It's totally refreshing I find it really calms my skin after I shave or get too much sun on my face.

graydon face food

My Favorite Multi Tasking Product At The Moment!

all over elixir oil

Recently I've been using Graydon Skincare's All Over Elixir Oi (I ran out of their Detox + Renew Serum so I had to choose a back up) and I've really been liking it! The smell is soothing and rich and it leaves skin super hydrated. And best of all it can be used on both face and body. I'm heading on vacation tomorrow and Elixir Oil is seriously going to decrease the size of my toiletry bag. Here are some of the ways it can be used:

Body Moisturizer: Apply one or two pumps of The Elixir all over your body (and face) immediately after taking a shower while your skin is still wet. Brusquely towel off.

Face: Apply a pump or two on your face for luxurious and moisturized skin. Use The Elixir on it's own or mixed in with our favourite moisturizer.

Massage Oil: Dispense one to two pumps onto skin. No need to wash the oil off when done. Let it soak in.

Cleanser: It also can be used to remove dirt and makeup leaving your face feeling soft and moisturized! Apply one pump of product onto your damp face and massage. Wash off with a warm wet cloth and voila!

Shaving Oil: Depending on how large a surface you're shaving, generally one or two pumps of our All Over Elixir Oil should do the trick. Apply on areas to be shaven and use your favourite razor for smooth and silky skin without any nicks or irritation. Rinse your razor with warm water between strokes and once finished.

Hair: Squirt one pump of our All Over Elixir Oil into hands. Apply a light coat to ends of hair to help handle frizz and fly-aways. Leave in until the next time you shower and wash your hair. For split ends, apply the oil to the tips of your hair. Wrap hair in a towel for a few hours and then wash out.

Mum & Babies: Our All Over Elixir Oil is a fantastic addition to your pre and peri-natal routine when used on your growing or shrinking belly and breasts to naturally prevent and minimize stretch marks. Made with food grade ingredients your skin will 'eat it up' when applied on your damp skin right after you shower. It's even suitable for your most 'personal bits', while leading up to delivery.

Men: A challenge men face is getting a clean shave without pumps or irritation. And if you shave with a blade, you need a shaving oil that will guide the blades across your skin without pulling. One little pump of our All Over Elixir Oil will leave your skin soft and smooth while minimizing nicks and redness. You'll love the smell so much you'll want to use it as an after shave too!

It's also been getting some great press. Check out ItsMandarin's review on Youtube!

How To Get a Bronzed Glow (That's Perfect For Summer)

estee lauder

Summer is finally here! If you haven't had the chance to soak up some sun or you're headed to one of many the many festivals this season; here is a dewy, golden look with a pop of colour to give you that bronzed summery vibe. 

To ensure your makeup stays on all day despite the heat, make sure to use a primer. To brighten and give your skin a healthy 'lit from within" look, try Graydon's Face Glow Tinted Primer + Illuminator.

graydon face glow

For added warmth and a natural looking flush, blend a cream blush like Smashbox L.A. Lights Blendable Lip & Cheek Color in Venice Beach Bronze to the apples of your cheeks with your finger or a dual fiber brush. 

smashbox LA lights lip and cheek

To make your eyes pop, use a volumizing mascara like CLINIQUE's High Impact Mascara applying to both top and bottom lashes for an extra bold effect. 

TIP: Try a nude eyeliner in the waterline to make eyes appear bigger and more awake!

CLINIQUE's High Impact Mascara

Now we have to give those brows some structure! In keeping with the subtle, effortless theme; lightly fill in your brows using a brow pencil like the Smashbox Brow Tech Gloss Stick

Smashbox Brow Tech Gloss Stick.

All that's left is the lips. Because the eye look is so simple, go for a bold lip colour. Line the lips with a waterproof lip liner similar to your natural lip colour for a long lasting "eat proof" base and then go in with a bright, matte lipstick like Bobbi Brown's Art Stick in Orange to contrast with your glowy skin. 

TIP: Apply a shimmery 'champagne' eye shadow or highlighter to the centre of the lips for a plumping effect. 

Bobbi Brown's Art Stick Orange

Here's what I did!

Luxury Skincare Inspired by Canada

province apothecary

If you've heard of Province Apothecary before you'll know it has a very loyal cult following, especially in Canada as the line was born here. If you haven't heard of it you soon will learn that the company takes a more holistic aromatherapeutic approach to small-batch skincare while sourcing ingredients from all Canadian provinces. Explore below to see some of their offerings from the brand!

province apothecary

Sex Oil

The best part about using a natural product as a massage oil or lubricant is you don't need to rinse it off, you can leave it on your skin so it will sink in to hydrate and moisturize. At first glance at the label you'd think it would have a slight coconut scent but nope, it's virtually scent free. I've used other natural oils and elixirs that are marketed as 'massage oils' but they all generally had a scent so it's great to find one that is scent free. The downside is you can't use oil based lubes with latex condoms as it can break down the components of latex. But I'm crafty, I'll find some other ways to use it ;)
 

province apothecary sex oil

Repairing and Conditioning Lip Balm

I'm a total lip balm hoarder and I'm constantly trying new ones. If I leave the house without lip balm I fee completely lost. Province Apothecary's lip balm does a great job at soothing and keeping lips from feeling dry. At first smell, you'll notice lavender like I did. I don't overly love lavender but I'm willing to overlook that for this one. And the one I received comes in a super skinny package (see my group photo above) which I like because it doesn't bulge out in my front pocket.

province apothecary lip balm

Hang Over Remedy

I can't even begin to explain how this smells. But if you've learned over the years that any form of hangover cure is not going to taste good. I haven't had a hangover yet that is worthy of a remedy but it seems like you could also use this for nausea or headaches. One of the main ingredients is milk thistle which has been known to help support the liver. Does it work? I dunno yet but I should hope by how it tastes it should do somethin' good!

province apothecary hangover remedy

Regenerating + Stimulating Exfoliator

Dry scrubs have become super common among green beauty companies. I've tried many brands and there hasn't really been one that has stood out yet. PA's is made with oat flour, lentil flour, lavender, violet leaves and green tea leaves so it's very gentle on the skin. After its mixed with water it pretty much just feels like your rolling a damp oat mixture over your face. I do like using natural exfoliating products once in a while and I did notice some grime had collected in my hands when I was rinsing so that made me happy. If you're a PA brand loyalist you'll want to try this exfoliator.

province apothecary exfoliator

Moisturizing Cleanser + Makeup Remover

Oddly I just realized this was the first oil cleanser I've tried. I tend to always lean toward a creamy oil based cleanser. My skin felt nicely hydrated after I used it. You'll need a warm damp face cloth to rid your face of any extra oil but after a quick gentle wipe I didn't feel oily. The scent is nice too.

province apothecary cleanser

Detoxifying + Clarifying Clay Mask

The minute this clay was mixed with water and put on my face it reminded me of the ocean back home in PEI. I checked the ingredient list and it contains seaweed powder, it was easy to pin point that familiar smell for me. It was instantly a comforting scent with a hint of earthiness. I like to do a mask once in a while and I enjoyed this one and how tight it made my skin feel so I think it'll find a home on my bathroom counter for a while!

province apothecary clay mask

Wild Crafted Incense

I'm not an incense lover, but I love the smell of balsam fur so this one is a toss up for me. I do love that it's handmade and I think it'll make a gorgeous little gift for the tree hugger in your life haha.

province apothecary incense

Rejuvenating + Hydrating Face Serum

I use a facial oil or serum everyday and never use a cream on my face (creams make my face feel heavy and clogged). Another reason why I love oils or serums is you get all the benefits of the ingredients in a concentrated format. They are more expensive, but I find the pay off is worth it. And funny enough, I don't like the smell of neroli or frankincense and those are two of the active ingredients in this serum but yet I liked its smell! All the oils that are in the formula are really well balanced together there isn't one ingredient that dominates your nose. I use a boat-load of serum on my face every day and I don't find it makes my skin feel greasy at all so it's 'the more the merrier' for me. I really liked this one, It's a keeper. 

province apothecary serum

Invigorating + Balancing Toner

In the past year or so I've really become a fan of facial mists, especially ones that soothe skin. I shave my face twice a week and I find mists help to calm my skin post-shaving and to boost hydration when sprayed on top of my facial serums. PA's toner does have ingredients that will soothe, calm purify skin which is great...but this one in particular has ingredients with scents I can't stand. Namely geranium, rose water and lavender. The toner's smell is very polarizing and if you like aromatherapy you'll likely enjoy the smell but I just can't. It feels great on the skin but my nose won't let me like it. For mists, it's gotta be scent free for me.

province apothecary toner

In the end, I'm super impressed by the products and what the brand stands for. The sleek packaging is an added bonus too and will really vamp up the aesthetic of my bathroom!
For more information on Province Apothecary click HERE.

Group shot photography: taken by my iPhone
Product photography: via provinceapothecary.ca

 

How To Clean Your Brushes...Fast!

prism brush bar
prism brush bar

Lately I've been looking for options that will help me clean makeup brushes effectively and quickly. I came across Prism Brush Bar recently and thought it was a pretty clever idea to make a makeup brush cleanser in bar form! Even better, their products and natural, vegan AND the company is Canada! I tried out the Original Prism Brush Bar ($17). It's a super cool galactic blue colour and comes in a round tin case. Here's what I thought!

Since I already found a brush cleansing glove that I love to wash brushes with, I kept the brush bar in the tin case to keep it steady. I dampened my brush and then swivelled it around the top of the bar. The consistency it creates is a little sudsy and has a mild silkiness. For eye shadow and detail brushes just a few swipes on my cleansing glove and a quick rinse and towel off cleaned them right up good! Larger brushes that had extra product stuck in it, like foundation brushes, needed a few rinses and swirls in the bar but I was really surprised at how clean and conditioned the bar made my brushes! I finished up by giving the bar a quick rinse and dried out the inside of the tin case. Then I set the bar inside the case with the cover removed to air dry. If you don't use a glove and just want to hold the bar in one hand and your brush in the other that's totally fine, it works well that way too! Prism Brush Bar has a view bar variations to choose from. You can explore them HERE!

Curious about ingredients? Here they are:
coconut oil, palm oil, safflower oil, vegetable based glycerin, purified water, sodium hydroxide, sorbitol, sorbitan oleate, oat protein, iron oxide, tin oxide, titanium oxide (mica)

TIP: Ever wonder about ingredients you can't pronounce or don't know where they come from? Search them on SKIN DEEP's website for hazard levels. 

 

Shop Natural Beauty Products

The Truth About Self Tanning

vita liberata tan

March Break is almost here and the summer is fast approaching and for some that means tanning season. If you're considering switching to a self tanning product you're in luck because we've tried them all. And there is one that seems to rise above the rest. Below are our honest findings on our favourite self tanning brand, Vita Liberata. 

 

vita liberata self tanner body

PHENOMENAL 2-3 WEEK TAN MOUSSE - MEDIUM ($65)

As a beginner at self tanning, I LOVED this product! Although it did not last for more than a few days at a time, the light mousse formula made for quick, easy, and natural looking results. The mousse blended seamlessly into the skin with no streaking and hardly any smell. Very little product was needed to achieve my desired depth of tan. The formula dried instantly leaving my sensitive skin feeling moisturized with no reaction to the certified organic ingredients. Although I used a damp cloth to remove excess product, it didn't cling to any of my dry spots and left my clothes stain-free. The packaging itself is clean, sleek, and perfect for travel. Instructions say to apply three days in a row for a 2 to 3 week tan but sadly the colour did fade significantly after showering. Repeating the process daily does prolong the tan but having it last for 3 weeks seems impossible. The overall process is so quick and easy though - I found myself looking forward to reapplying.

vita liberata self tanning face

Rich Face Tinted Self Tan Lotion for Face ($45)

If you've got oily skin like me this product will not be your friend! The lotion style formula was very greasy and streaky. A first attempt at blending with the tanning mitt left me with blotchy, uneven skin. I switched to a dual fiber brush and found better results, however I needed quite a lot of product for the colour pay off I was looking for. My skin became progressively more oily and when it came time to wash my face - 75% of the colour washed off. If you've got dry skin, this product might work well for you with repeated use. 

 

vita liberata trystal

TRYSTAL™ MINERALS SELF TANNING BRONZING MINERALS - BRONZE ($56)

The bronzer itself is very pigmented but incredibly hard to blend. That being said, very little product goes a very long way so it will last you along time. I LOVED the kabuki brush that was included, which came as a surprise. Not only were the bristles incredibly soft but they aided in creating a natural glow after much blending. Considering the price tag I was expecting to see a full jar but instead almost half of the container was empty. I do wish this came as a pressed powder or in an alternate style of packaging as the shaker style is very messy. The powder has a slight smell reminiscent of standard self tanners. The packaging mentions a subtle tan lasting anywhere from 3-7 days however unfortunately all the effects disappeared with make up remover. 

 

Burt Bee's Launches 'Shades Gallery' With New Collection

burt bees shades gallery 2

Burt's Bees launched their new 100% natural lipstick collection at Arta Gallery in Toronto. They commissioned 10 Canadian artists to paint a blank canvas using only the 14 lipsticks as their colours. The results were pretty cool! The launch was a private event but the gallery is now open to the public for the next two weeks! Each art piece will be auctioned off with proceeds going to a Canadian wildlife charity. 

burt bees shades gallery 1

Here's a look at the packaging and colours of the new collection.

View some of the art pieces that were created using the lipsticks below!

burt bees shades gallery 3
burt bees shades gallery 5
burt bees shades gallery 4
burt bees shades gallery 6
burt bees shades gallery 7
burt bees shades gallery 8

Note - The canvas cropping and the frames are not the ones used at the gallery. I am addicted to Photoshop and added them on for visual effect. 

Beauty Looks From NYFW!

NYFW is happening right now and we're compiling our favourite looks and trends that are coming down the catwalk! 

Marc Jacobs AW16

nyfw marc jacobs aw16

Let's just get this one out of the way shall we because it's all everyone can talk about. Black lipstick was seen on numerous catwalks for AW2016. It was used because it complimented the collection that was being shown and I really hope this does't become 'a thing' because it doesn't really hard to pull off correctly and with good technique (unless you're a pro). If you are going to try it Kat Von D makes one called Slayer and Inglot has a matte black lipstick called 437.

Proenza Schouler AW16

nyfw proenza schouler aw16

A gorgeous fresh face will never go out of style. I can be preppy, chic or glamourous. 
Start with a light coverage foundation like Clinique Even Better Foundation then illuminate your skin with a highlighter to create fresh and dewy skin. RMS Living Luminizer is a makeup artist favourite. Learn more about highlighting HERE. Finish off with your favourite mascara on your top lashes and a bit of sheer lip gloss like Bobbi Brown Sheer Color Gloss and your all set!

Sally Lapointe AW16

nyfw sally lapointe aw16

This look is so simple but totally makes a statement with beautiful and pristine skin, natural eye, strong brow and brown mauve purple hybrid lip. What I took from this look was the key pieces that make it stand out. A defined brow is super modern and Anastasia Beverly Hills seems to have dominated the market for that. To make your eye appear more awake and youthful then use a flesh toned eye liner. MAC makes a range of colors that apply amazingly.  Run it along your lower lash line gently. It'll eliminate any redness near your eye. For the lips I thought NYX Mauve Slim Lip Pencil or Alima Pure's Blackberry Sheer Mauve Lip Tint. 

3.1 Phillip Lim AW16

nyfw phillip lim aw16

If sleek straight hair makes a come back I'd totally be on board. I'm slightly over the big bouncy Victoria Secret waves. The great thing is, since the 90s we are much more educated on how to protect hair from extreme heat (remember straightening irons that you had to fill up with water?!). To get silky smooth hair start with a great styling cream that helps control frizz and blocks nature's elements like humidty. Living Proof makes a nice one. Then you need a great tool to get long straight locks. Harry Josh is a pro hair artist and he makes a line of tools including a straightening iron. If it's good enough for his celeb clients then it's just fine for you too!

A Test Tube You Can Use!

new beauty test tube

Recently I got to check out New Beauty Magazine's subscription box, TESTTUBE.
The tube was so full of products they had to put some of the products outside of it in the shipping box! And I won't lie, it was one of the best beauty boxes I've seen. Could this be a good solution now that Birchbox Canada seized service? Absolutely, but TESTTUBE is an American company and at $29.95 USD a month it could be costly for Canadians. If money isn't a concern that definitely check it out!

Here's a look inside the tube:

Cailyn Dizzolv'It Makeup Cleansing Balm

cailyn dizzolvit

Via website: Melt away your daily dose of grime, dirt and all traces of makeup in an instant! Dizzolv'it Makeup Melt Cleansing balm dissolves sunscreen, foundation and even the most resilient waterproof makeup thoroughly to leave your skin clean, supple, and luminously radiant. The balm type texture responds to body temperature and melts into silky liquid that deep cleanses and rinses off completely. Gentle and mild, this cleanser will not dry or irritate the skin. The powerful antioxidant ingredients let you soothe, refresh and indulge all at once!

Bliss That's Incredi-Peel

bliss incredipeel

Via website: Bliss has reinvented the peel with convenient, single-stop, no-rinse peel pads. Say goodbye to visible wrinkles and dark spots in a single step with this treatment—engineered to release powerful levels of exfoliating glycolic acid for serious skin renewal, without the harsh irritation. 




SuperSmile Professional Whitening Toothpaste

supersmile whitening toothpaste

Via website: Whitens: Calprox® safely lifts surface stains such as coffee, tea, tobacco, red wine and other stains without harsh abrasives or the risk of sensitivity. Maintains and enhances the vibrancy of professionally bleached teeth. Restores bonding, caps, veneers and dentures to their original whiteness.
Freshens: Sodium Bicarbonate provides long-lasting germicidal protection for fresher breath.
Strengthens: The combination of Calcium, Phosphates and Magnesium re-mineralizes tooth enamel.
Protects: Fights against cavities with fluoride.
Silica Free, Gluten Free, Sulfate Free, Dye Free, Kosher

Fromm Beauty Diane Brush
 

fromm beauty diane pink hope brush

Via website: Bright Pink is the only national non-profit organization focusing on the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women. Our mission is to save women’s lives from breast and ovarian cancer by getting them to live proactively at a young age. We educate, equip and empower the 52 million young women in the US, between 18 and 45 years old, who have never been diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer. They have the power to be proactive, to reduce their risk for these diseases or detect them at early non-life-threatening stages. Learn more about Bright Pink at BrightPink.org.

Hask Beauty Express Blow Dry Spray

hask beauty express blow dry spray

Via website: Express Blow Dry is a lightweight, dual-phase spray that accelerates your hair drying process by evaporating water. This unique formula leaves hair detangled, polished and static-free. Protect against heat-styling stress and save time with this perfect pre-blow drying accessory!


 

 

Dermologica Daily Microfoliant

dermalogica daily microfoliant

Via website: Gentle, Rice-based exfoliating powder activates upon contact with water, releasing Papain, Salicylic Acid and Rice Enzymes that micro-exfoliate dead cells, instantly leaving skin smoother and brighter. Formulated without artificial fragrances and colors.

 


 

Neocell Beauty Bursts

neocell beauty bursts

Via website: Having beautiful and radiant skin has never been so easy- or so delicious. NeoCell Biotin Bursts deliver high potency beauty nutrients in a delectable, gourmet soft chew. Formulated based off of scientifically proven ingredients NeoCell Biotin Bursts offer a delicious alternative to your daily biotin regimen. Each chew is low in sugar and was especially formulated to be as readily absorbable as possible in delicious Brazilian Acai Berry flavor. Healthy hair and skin were never this easy, or sweet!

Mally Evercolor Starlight Waterproof Eyeliner

mally evercolor starlight waterproof eyeliner

Via website: I am so excited to bring you these Evercolor Starlight Waterproof Eyeliners!!! They glide on easily without a shadow base, yet last all day. They are rich, full, and give a strong coverage. They can be used over, under, or in the inner rim of the eye.

Yes, there are that many products in this beauty box! What do you think?

Makeup Looks To Inspire Women Undergoing Chemo

Recently I was invited to celebrate the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation #NoHairSelfie movement which is set to go global this year. While speaking with one of the organizers about how influencers are helping to spread the word in different ways the topic arose of creating makeup looks for women who want to feel inspired but might need a little help in the makeup department. Thus this blog post was born! I really wanted to focus on using green beauty products as much as I could for these looks as I feel it's important not to use chemicals on your skin if you don't have to. Though not all products used below are green as I realize budgets can vary for products.

I realize in the scheme of things makeup is a low priority when faced with cancer but makeup can become a form or empowerment during treatment after hair loss. So this post is for those women who need a little encouragement. It's a small way to show support, but I hope its able to inspire strength in someone out there. 

Enjoy and let me know in the comments below what you think!


The Fresh Face

mac face chart 5

For this look I chose pinks and neutrals to accentuate brightness in the face. It's super simple and quick!

- Sweep a neutral shadow with a subtle shimmer (like MAC's Shroom) over your lid. Apply a pinky peach eye shadow (like MAC's Expensive Pink) on the outer corner to add depth and a hint of color. Follow with a brown eye liner like Alima Pure's liner in Ink) along the top lash line. 

- In keeping with the fresh tones use a pinky nude lipstick like Ilia's In My Room on the lips.

- Follow by blending a light bronzer (like Josephine's Contour Duo) just below your cheek bones and highlight above that area on the highest points of your cheeks. For more tips on highlighting click HERE.


A Little Bit 90's!

mac face chart 6

In keeping with another subtle look, I went a little 90's with this one!

- Use an eye liner (like Inika Certified Organic in Black Caviar) and line your upper lash line. You can smudge the line with a brush to soften the line if you wish.

- A lipstick that isn't matte will keep this look nice and fresh. Elizabeth Arden's lipstick in Dessert Rose works great for a nude lip with a hint of orangey brown with high shine.

- Bring some dimension in to the face by blending with your finger under your cheekbones softly with a liquid contour (like Gressa Minimalist Contouring Bronzer Serum).

- Follow with your favourite mascara (like RMS Volumizing Mascara).


The New Smokey

mac face chart 1

A smokey eye doesn't need to be black! Here's a twist using shimmery purples.

- Apply a dark purple shadow (like MAC's Nocturnelle) on the outer corner of the eye and on the inner upper lid. Blend both areas a little so there's no harsh lines. Use a lighter purple (like MAC's Digit) and brush it on the center of the lid. Pay a little extra attention to soften the edges where the purples meet so you'll get a seamless look. Carry the dark purple shadow on the lower lash line and blend well for extra smokiness.

- Use a black liner (like NARS Eye Liner in black) to define the upper and lower lash lines. Follow with your favourite mascara.

-A little hint of gloss is all you need for this look. Try MAC's Eloquently Elegant. 


The Red Lip

mac face chart 2

Oh yes, the love-hate relationship with the red lip. But it looks gorgeous and requires minimal effort elsewhere!

- Apply a coat of red lipstick (like FitGlow's lipstick in Love) all over the lip. For extra coverage, before you apply the lipstick you can cover the entire lip area with a red lip liner to fill in the gaps and intensify the colour. 

- A great red lip pairs great with a minimal eye. Use a nude shadow all over the eyelid and a little medium brown shadow on the outer crease area to define your eye  (Hynt Beauty's Sweet Canyon palette would work great!).

- Bring a little warmth in to your face with a bronzing powder like Vita Liberata's Trystal Bronzing Powder).

TIP - To make your red lips last longer apply a thin layer of translucent powder on your lips after you apply the lip liner, then follow with lipstick. Repeat with another layer of translucent powder and then apply a final coat of lipstick. The powder will help set each layer giving it more staying power.


The Impresser

mac face chart 3

This is a fun look that will really catch people's attention!

- Start with a dark purple shadow and blend on the outer corner of your eye. Next take a blue eyeshadow and blend it in the middle of the lid. Use a nude shadow with slight shimmer on the inner portion of your eye to catch the light. Make sure to blend in all edges well for a seamless look. For more intensity you can take a black shadow and blend it in to your eye crease. Repeat these steps under you eye as well. Eye palettes work great for a look like this. Try NARS Dual Intensity Palette.

- Run an eye liner (like Charlotte Tilbury's Rock N Kohl liner) along the upper and lower lash line. For a more intense look, use the eye liner on your water line too.

- With a fun look on the eye it's best to keep it simple on the lips. Try Kjaer Weiss' lip tint in Blissful.

- Brighten up your cheeks with a little blush like Benefit's Coralista


The Modern Lady

mac face chart 4

A purple lip seems unrealistic but they can really accentuate your eye colour. If you're worried it's too intense you can opt for a purple gloss or tint!

- Keep your lids fairly simple with a bit of shimmer (like Vapour's Beauty Eye Shimmer in Flash 602). 

- Line your top lash line with a black or brown eye liner (like Ilia Pure Eye Liner).

- Apply lipstick (like Studio 78 Paris' in Velvet Wedding) all over your lip for a gorgeous purple hue that dries matte.

- Bring some life in to your cheeks with a bit of blush (like NARS blush in Orgasm). 


Filling In Your Eyebrows After Hair Loss

I searched Youtube for a good guide and really enjoyed this one:


how to fill in your eyebrows

Here's an eye brow guide I've posted previously. Perhaps somone might find it helpful:

Inner eyebrow
- should line up with the corner of your nose and corner of eye

Eyebrow arch - should line up with the corner of your nose and your your pupil

Tail of your eyebrow - should line up with corner of your nose and outer corner of the eye


I really hope you enjoyed these look and please check out No Hair Selfie HERE.

Get The Look! Gina Rodriguez At The Golden Globes 2016!

golden globes, golden globes 2016, golden globes red carpet, jane the virgin, gina rodriguez

Celebrity hair stylist Paul Norton spent the day yesterday with Gina Rodriguez getting her prepped for last night's Golden Globe Awards! Paul, along with Joico, have made it easy to achieve her gorgeous and sleek half updo. Here's how:

By Paul Norton:
Since Gina was wearing a shoulder revealing “50's-esque” Zach Posen gown (Navy duchesse architectural gown from the Zac Posen pre-fall 2016 collection) I wanted the hair to have that classic yet retro feeling as well.

Photo via: Paul Norton

Photo via: Paul Norton

I started by prepping her hair with Joico Heat Set Blow-dry Perfecting Crème (you can also use Joico’s Power Gel if you want to make sure and have extra hold in the style) and blow dried it with an air hair dryer and ceramic vented radial brush size 3 until fully dry. I paid special attention to the end, I wanted them to have a rounded feeling so I left each section on the round brush for several seconds after I removed the heat so that they would cool in that position.

Photo via: Paul Norton

Photo via: Paul Norton

Next I used Joico IronClad Thermal Protectant Spray in sections of the hair to protect it from the heat. With a flat-iron styler I smoothed out the hair only in the mid-shaft area so that the roots still remained voluminous and avoided the ends because I wanted to gently bend on them. I then sprayed my "back comb in a bottle" Joico Hair Shake Liquid-to-Powder Texturizer at the root, back combed the root area around her crown as well as the majority of the back area of her head.

Using a flat-iron I took the front center area of her hair and straightened it directly back away from her face and used Joico Crème Wax Texture and Shine to help control it and confined it to the center area in the place near the crown of the head that I had back combed. I allowed the two areas on each side around the temple to hang freely for a more retro shape.

Next I used a curling iron to bend the 3 inches of the bottom of her hair back and away from her face. Once done curling, I used my fingers to rake though her hair like a giant comb and sprayed her ends with Joico Power Spray Fast-drying Finishing Spray.

Lastly I used more Power Spray to detail the top area to eliminate any fly-aways and she was on her way!

Get The Look! Rachal McAdam's At The Golden Globes 2016!

There were some AMAZING hair moments at last night's Golden Globe Awards! One of them was Rachal McAdams! Mark Townsend, her hair stylist for the evening broke down all the steps so you can give it a try! 

Mark said, “Rachel McAdams is such an inspiration to work with and always has the greatest ideas. She just arrived late last night from London, so we laughed that she was flush like an English Rose! We wanted to find a very modern way to interpret such a classic look, so we decided on a very textured chignon with lots of volume.”

golden globes, golden globes red carpet, golden globes rachal mcadams, rachal mcadams, mean girls, the notebook, rachal mcadams hair

Red Carpet Looks From The Golden Globes 2016!

golden globe awards 2015

The 73rd Golden Globes red carpet is happening RIGHT NOW! As it happens we'll be curating our favourite looks and how to achieve them as easy as possible! And it all starts here:

Jennifer Lopez

golden globes, golden globe awards, golden globes 2016, red carpet, jennifer lopez, jlo

A gorgeous bronzed glowy skin and a bold glossy lip!
EYES: To get this warm eye shadow shade use bronzer! It's closer to a 'natural' shade so it will enhance and define the lid and add a little shimmer. Try NARS Bronzing Powder. Add a little shimmer pigment on top to catch the light.
SKIN: Use the same NARS bronzer on to warm up your face and then use Benefit High Beam on the high points of your cheeks, the very tip of your cupid's bow and a little just on the bridge of your nose between your eyes (don't go all the way down your nose as this makes your nose look longer).
LIPS: For a long lasting bold lip make sure to fill in the entire lip with a lip liner and then go over it with your lipstick of choice. Ror a close match to JLo's try MAC Lip Liner in Nightmoth and add a layer of Tom Ford's Ultra Shine Lip Gloss in Wet Violet to add high shine to your lips!

Jennifer Lawrence

golden globes, golden globe awards, golden globes 2016, red carpet jennifer lawrense, jlaw

EYES: For a defined black eye, Tom Ford makes a dual ended Eye Defining Pencil. One end you can use for the perfect flick and the other for a more subtle fine line or build it up in layers for more intensity. My favourite mascara for getting close to those bottom lashes is MAC Extended Play Mascara. The wand is lean so it fits in nicely without smudging on the skin.
LIPS: Try MAC's lip liner in Ruby Woo all over the lip with a touch of red lipstick like Elizabeth Arden's Bold Red on top of the liner.
SKIN: After you do your foundation try a concealer like Yves Saint Laurent's Touche Eclat. It conceals and illuminates beautifully.

Rooney Mara

golden globes, golden globe awards, golden globes 2016, red carpet, rooney mara

LIPS: For a long lasting bold lip like Rooney's make sure to fill in the entire lip with a lip liner and then go over it with your lipstick of choice. for a close match to Lily's try MAC Lip Liner in Nightmoth and Chanel's Rouge Noir Lipstick.
SKIN: A light dusting of Benefit Box Powder in Coralista goes on soft really brightens and warms the face.
EYES: Try a great neutral palette like Tarte Cosmetic's Tartlette Tease and use a light shade all over the lid and a darker shade blended around the outer corner. To lengthen and thicken your lashes use MAC Extended Play Mascara. The wand is lean so it fits in nicely without smudging on the skin.

Brie Larson

golden globes, golden globe awards, golden globes 2016, red carpet, brie larson

EYES: If you were watching the red carpet you'd see that Brie had beautiful nudes and browns on your eyes with with sparkle. A few neutral colours of eye shadow would work great for this. Try something light on the inner corner and build darker toward the outer corner. Charlotte Tilbury Luxury Palette in The Sophisticate is a nice neutral palette. 
SKIN: For a nice pinky glow I really like MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Perfect Topping. It's a beautiful warm blend of pink, gold, and beige for a high shine that isn't sparkly. A tiny bit on the centre of the mobile lid of the eye is lovely too.
LIPS: For a nudey shine try MAC's lip liner in Stripdown with soft nude lip gloss on top like Bobbi Brown's Lip Gloss in Nude or Buff.