8 Drugstore Products You Need to Try

Following the latest beauty trends doesn’t have to break the bank. But you knew that…because drugstore beauty brands have stepped up their game in the last few years, bringing us so close to their pricey dupes. We’ve rounded up eight of the greatest and latest budget friendly beauty products!

L’Oreal Infallible Lip Paints

This line of Lipsticks hit drugstores in late 2016, with fourteen bold and beautiful shades to choose from. The long-lasting liquid lip smells great and applies seamlessly. If your obsession with liquid lips is breaking the bank, give this product a try. For those looking to follow the 2018 makeup trends, try the shade Lilac Lust.

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer

A necessary addition to your daily makeup routine, this concealer is guaranteed to impress (and has been for quite some time now). The formula is not only great for covering up those under eyes circles, but also dark spots and red acne scars. Personal Tip: Use it on your face where necessary and set with a pressed powder.

L’oreal Paris Brow Stylist Boost & Set Volumizing Mascara

A cheaper alternative to the Anastasia Brow Gel that we all love. If you go through brow products like candy, this drugstore dupe might save you. If you don’t go through brow products like candy, then you’re doing something wrong. Brows are everything.

Pixi Glow Tonic 

This exfoliating toner contains 5% glycolic acid and aloe vera to soothe your skin. This product is a definite must try for those of you looking for healthier looking skin and minimized pores. Add it to your evening beauty routine, as a toner post cleansing. Make sure to use sunscreen in the a.m. and a trusted moisturizer.

Dove Dry Skin Relief Replenishing Face Cream SPF 15

And speaking of moisturizers, Dove did what they do best (skin relief) and released this brand new product for 2018. A moisturizer with a solid SPF is perfect to start off your morning beauty routine. The product is light, but effective and works perfectly underneath makeup.

Almay Best Blend Forever Foundation

Looking to add a little more SPF protection to your daily makeup? Like say SPF 40? This product is similar to a CC cream (hydrating and sun protecting), but with a little more coverage.

Physician’s Formula Charcoal Detox Cleansing Stick

Calling out all the lazy women out there. Clean your makeup off in a few seconds, mess free i.e. no more water running down your forearms as you scrub your face off.

L’Oreal True Match Lumi Glow Amour Glow Boosting Drops

Finally, an affordable highlighting product. There has been non-stop buzz about these glow drops this year, partly because of L’Oreal’s True Match Foundations being nothing less than perfect. Also, this product is the first of it’s kind in drugstores, acting as a dupe to higher end ones like Tarte Radiance Drops.

Hair Trends to Try in 2018

Your 2018 horoscopes probably told you that this year is the year to take risks, am I right? Well what’s a bigger risk than a fresh look. And what’s fresher than a new haircut or hair color? With help from Kelsie McNamara, Toronto-based hair stylist and private hair studio c0-owner, we’ve rounded up the most trending hair cuts, colors and styles in 2018.


Long Haircuts

Layers are back, baby! This year ask your stylist for a 70’s inspired haircut. Kelsie says this year is all about adding movement back into hair .

Short Haircuts

Scroll through your Instagram feed, and all you’ll see are celebrities and models chopping their locks. Rock a bob in 2018 ladies! Keslie says this year’s bob is French girl inspired, adding “sophistication and versatility.” Also, this cut is currently the it-girl look, so don’t miss out. Chop it now and grow it out to a lob just in time for summer.

Low Maintenance Haircuts

If you’re looking for a curt that transitions smoothly from winter, to spring (and maybe summer) with little maintenance , Kelsie has a fix for you. She advises, “ask your stylist if your hair is a good candidate for interior texturizing to allow some movement and an awesome air dry.” If you’re always in a rush to get out the door, this trick will come in handy in the warmer seasons.

Daring Haircuts

Kelsie warns that you might cringe at this suggestion, but the most outrageous trend this year: bowl cuts – a short crop with a bold, full body fringe, but nothing frigid or blunt.


Hair Color Treatments

In the last few years we witnessed the popularity of Olaplex, and with that many more “bond builders” are being used. Kelsie is currently loving Smart Bond by L’Oreal Professionel and not only for her blonde clients. The two-step at home treatment adds strength to colored hair as well.

Hair Color Trends

Leave the Ash and Silver in 2017! “Gold can be a soft hue, not brassy as some can fear,” says Kelsie. Honey tones are less maintenance, and will help to add radiance to your face for an all natural look.


Low Maintenance Color

“Balayage isn’t going anywhere!” It will add a little something to your hair without absolute commitment and constant care. Kelsie comments that her clients visit her 2-3 times a year. Ask your colorist to recommend a tone that wears longer and complements your complexion.

Daring Hair Colors

Pastels are still in but instead of a full blown rich color , opt for a “blonde with a slight rose, peach, or lavender hue” suggests Kelsie. This look is perfect for those who want to take a risk with their hair color but need it to be work appropriate. Celebrities like Kate Hudson and Julianne Hough were seen rocking this trend.


Long Hair 

Beachy waves are here to stay! The best way to achieve this is air drying ft. some really good curling iron action. Kelsie’s directions: “instead of the tradition wrap method, turn it horizontal, and lightly ‘pinch’ the section of hair , alternating ways, to add a ‘wavy’ bend, instead of a curly finish.”

Short Hair

Short hair can be harder to style than long hair, and the same two ways: straight or wavy can get repetitive. Kelsie suggests playing around with hair accessories such as metallic and pins ponytail cuffs. Her favorite hair accessories at the moment are Chloe and Isabelle (soft gold, brass, and bronze hair rings, over sized pins, and ponytail accessories). Be bold: style your hair with a deep side part, tuck the shallow side behind your ear and secure it with visible pins. It’s a look! Seen this year on the models from the Sally LaPointe runway.

Third Day Hair

Choose a style that will benefit from that those third day oils. Maybe a low middle parted sleek bun. Keslie’s tip: use this opportunity to add some nourishing hair oil to your dehydrated ends.

No Heat Required

For those who want to give their hair a break from styling in 2018, turn to air drying your hair this spring and summer. Towel dry your hair and use a sea salt spray, curl cream or a leave in moisturizing balm. Kelsie’s advice for a last minute fix if you need more volume and bend is to “sprits dried hair with some setting spray, and style in loose pulled out dutch braids. Let it set while you finish getting ready, then release, lightly shaking out the braid with your finger tips (don’t brush!)”



Kelsie McNamara is a hair stylist specializing in hair cutting and Balayage and has been in the business for ten years. She co-owns a private studio in Leslieville and is a Portfolio Artist for L’Oreal Professional Canada. Follow her journey on Instagram @kelsiemariexo


GRAYES: Stephanie Ray on Women’s Workwear

Stephanie Ray, founder of Canadian womenswear brand Grayes says the idea behind her brand came when she was struggling to find professional pieces that suited her style and made her feel comfortable. “When you’re in law school, it’s hard to find something that you’re excited about; you want something that makes you feel confident going into a meeting or an interview.”

First launched in 2016, Grayes features build able silhouettes, that are neutral and conservative, making them office appropriate. The brand’s goal is to provide professional women with fresh, fashionable and affordable options. Ray puts an original twist on every piece and I was lucky to get a sneak peek of the collection and chat with the young entrepreneur. Here’s a round up of her collection, her advice on how to wear the best selling pieces and her creative direction and inspiration behind Grayes.

The Blazer Dress

A Grayes best-seller, wear it as a dress (with secure interior buttons), or as a blazer, over the matching dress or pants. It’s a great layering piece with a three quarter sleeve, which means you can throw a coat on top in winter. It comes in a black, grey and a new two-tone: grey and black/white stripes. It’s the Grayes “not-a-suit suit”.

The Stretch Suit

“Our customers love this set so much, they wear them as separates,” says Ray. The suit comes as a two piece: The Pencil Pant and Notch Blazer. “Sometimes you don’t want to wear a blazer, and a silk top might not be appropriate for your office environment,” The Structured Top is polished and comes in the new camo print as well. Match it with the suit, and the set is perfect to transition from the office to drinks, and flexibility is what Grayes is all about.

The ¾ Tunic Dress

A clean cut silhouette, perfect for all body types, “this dress means you don’t have to worry about putting an outfit together; wear it with a cool crisp white shirt underneath for balance,” advises Ray. When asked about her idea behind camo, the designer comments, “It’s a neutral color and more bold than what we stuck to in the past, but also super easy to mix and match.” This makes it relevant and different because Grayes costumers are looking for things that are a little bit more fun and exciting to add to their wardrobe. This new addition is used in the 3/4 Tunic Dress as well as the Structured Top.

Grey/Black Sets

The grey or black sets pick up great with denim and the blazer dresses in these two colors comes with a matching dress. This creates more options for layering and matching with different pieces from the collection and from your own wardrobe. The sets can also be mixed and matched with each other.

The Bomber

The bomber has proven to look great on top of dresses for the office, or casually with jeans. “The bomber isn’t something you would wear formally but our costumers are finding them very great for layering, especially the black lace because its neutral but with a little texture – it adds a flare,” says Ray.


Will the collection be available in stores?

We are not looking into wholesale. We are direct to consumer (online) and we do a lot of pop-up events, showrooms and partnering with professional women’s networking groups. Outside our target market we have found that people love the blazer dress and pencil pants…it elevates their jean look or their everyday outfit.

How do you feel like your designs have progressed between the first and second collection?

What we started out with was your basic blacks and greys and slowly we are introducing prints and textures – things that are a little bit more fun and more bold to pair back to the basics. The idea as we evolve is to add the ‘camo’ that is more seasonal and more relevant to the trends. It’s an idea we are looking to incorporate more in future collections. With the newest pieces, we are trying out the two-tone idea, that being: in a workplace, you want to be conservative in your color palette and your outfit, but still want something a little more fun and different.

One of this spring’s trends is to mix and match patterns, how have you incorporated that in your new collection?

We’ve been showing the lace bomber over the plaid pants – we’re into that and we feel it works great because they’re different. It’s difficult to find fabrics that work together but that’s made easy through the collection.

Do you think certain pieces work better for certain age groups?

We like to say that our collection is age agnostic, fairly conservative in the fit and design and that it is appropriate for any age group. We have costumers that are in their twenties and we also have some that are sixty plus. It’s a wide spectrum, both professionals and people that are looking for everyday basics to incorporate into their wardrobe.

Was there a specific inspiration behind the mix and match idea?

There wasn’t a specific inspiration. It came from my own experience of feeling like I had these two different wardrobes: my professional and my everyday. With Grayes, we wanted to make sure that anything that we were designing you’d be able to get a lot of wear out of, if let’s say, you have a breakfast meeting and then you’re meeting your friends for drinks after work. Just feeling like one piece can take you all day – maybe add a new necklace or you add a little touch to go to evening. Then also when you’re not working, in your jeans or off-duty attire, you’d be as excited to pair with a Grayes piece.

If you had one piece of advice to give young business women, in terms of fashion and how to dress as a business professional, what would it be?

Find pieces that you love, that make you feel good and like yourself, because when you’re in the professional world you want to make sure that you are confident and feel good about yourself and put your best foot forward. Find what feels true to you.


Shop the Grayes collection online.

10 Beauty Trends to Try in 2018

New year, new you…right? Well, what’s more you than your face? Give your skin a new look with some makeup and skincare trends you absolutely must try this year. 2018 is all about fresh skin, a dewy complexion and vibrant colors. Keep reading to find out ten ways you can keep your skin in style this year.

Spa Skin

The most talked about beauty trend this year has definitely been glowy skin. The industry name for this look has been “spa skin”, which basically describes effortless, luminous makeup. It was seen on many runways like Off White, Bottega Veneta, and Pucci. It resembles the no-makeup makeup from the last few seasons, but with a ton of highlighter or face gloss. Try the Becca Highlighters or Milk Makeup Face Gloss to achieve a positively dewy look this winter.

Romee Strijd, Off White SS18 Runway

Mascara-Free Lashes

Gone are the rainy winter days when you have to worry about waterproof mascara. Lash extensions made an impact in 2017, but this year’s trend is bare lashes. It’s been spotted on the spring/summer catwalks and recently, on the red carpet, on stars like Saoirse Ronan. This year, opt for a lash serum, like Diorshow Maximizer 3D Triple Volume Plumping Lash Primer and your go-to lash curler.

Saoirse Ronan, SAG Awards 2018

Monochromatic Make-up

This look is super easy (and can be easy on your budget). For your next date night, apply your favorite shade of peach or pink to your eyes, cheeks and lips. This technique is subtle but sexy and brings out your natural beauty without overwhelming your face with too much color. Another upside to this trending look is you can often use the same product on your entire face. Last weekend, at Paris Couture Fashion Week, MAC proved that this trick is here to stay, by using a combination of lipsticks as blush at the Proenza Schouler show. Recently, many brands have developed products that serve this specific purpose. Try Nudestix Nudies All Over Face Color Bronze + Glow.

Kaia Gerber, Backstage at Alexander Wang SS18

Colorful Eyeshadow

One of the most talked about colors for the upcoming season is Yellow – both in fashion and makeup. The Spring Summer runway showcased a burst of color on eyelids, with clean, well-blended hues or painted sharp-edged shapes. So this spring (if you dare), put away your warm hued eyeshadow palette and invest in one or two eyeshadows in a color that complements your skin tone. Pair your eyelids with a dewy complexion and clean contour. Try MAC Pigment Shadows to give this look a go.

Backstage at Novis SS18

The Red Lip

AKA “the power lip” is here to stay. It’s only January, and we’re already seeing celebrities and models rocking ruby red or slightly more orange hues. So, if you haven’t hopped on this trend in the past few years, give it a go in 2018. Pair it with lots of highlighter and a swipe of a shimmery nude on the eyelids – nothing more. This will shift all the focus to your perfect pout. Try Tom Ford Lip Color in Cherry Lush to channel your inner Bella Hadid.

Backstage at Max Mara SS18


Perhaps one of the most trending skin care rituals this winter, micro-needling should 100% be on your radar this year. While it’s been known as a clinical procedure to trigger collagen and tighten skin, companies like GloPro have created gadgets for more accessible use at home. Say goodbye to 2017 wrinkles and fine lines and invest in a micro-needling roller head this year.

GloPRO® MicroStimulation Facial Tool

Jelly Masks

Forget charcoal masks, bubbling masks and multi-masking – 2018 brings jelly masks. The lightweight formula is easy to rinse off, and focuses on keeping your skin hydrated. Why are they special? Because they contain active ingredients and are loaded with vitamins and minerals like aloe vera, seaweed and exfoliating acids. The most buzzed about line of jelly masks has been from LUSH cosmetics.

LUSH Cosmetics, 1,000 Millihelens Jelly Face Mask

Blue Light Acne Treatment

If Acne is your biggest skin concern at the moment, you might want to consider giving this treatment a go. Blue LED is known to help decrease inflammation, control acne-producing bacteria, balance your skin’s oil production and minimize the appearance of pores. If you prefer a professional treatment, commit to sessions at a certified clinic. If you’d rather treat your skin from the comfort of your home, invest in a device like the Tria Acne Clearing Blue Light. Because 2018 is all about convenience!

Tria, Acne Clearing Blue Light

Double Cleansing

It’s important to note that wiping your makeup off at the end of the day is proven to leave pores clogged. While you might get a little lazy this winter, don’t skip the water-based cleanser post cleansing water. In fact, double cleanse by following your oil based make up remover with a deep cleanser. If you wear a full face of makeup, you might want to put this trend on the top of your list. Try Boscia Makeup-Breakup Cool Cleansing Oil followed by La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Cleansing Gel.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Cleansing Gel

Beauty Dust

And finally, a little bit of magic for the New Year. Now you can drink your way to beautiful skin, and I’m not talking about plain old water (that’s important too). Beauty Dust has been popping up on Instagram feeds everywhere. With ingredients such as Alma Berry extract and Goji Berry Powder, this magic powder helps with skin cell production and clearing your body from toxins, which leads to healthier skin. The formula can be added to smoothies, teas, or just mixed in water.

Moon Juice, Beauty Dust