LAST MINUTE GIFT IDEA: SAY HELLO TO HELLOFRESH

Christmas is literally right around the corner and I’m sure everyone is scrambling to get their last minute shopping done. With jam packed malls and crowded stores, it makes you not want to get up and head over to your favourite shopping centre. But an amazing gift doesn’t have to be sitting on a heavy duty rack, surrounded by people fighting over the same item. Shopping online definitely has its perks and the best part is, you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your own bed. So this is where I introduce to you, HelloFresh.

HelloFresh is an international meal delivery company that offers sustainable packaging and delicious, healthy meals. There are three different plans to choose from; the Veggie Plan, which offers delicious vegetarian dinners; the Pronto Plan, filled with a variety of farm fresh ingredients; and the Family Plan, which feeds up to four people. Every plan is assembled with three different meals in one box. You never know what type of veggies or meats you’ll be receiving each month, which makes the whole process even more exciting.

To keep all of the ingredients nice and fresh, everything is packaged into 100% recyclable and biodegradable cardboard. It is then insulated with silver box liners and filled with recyclable plastic icepacks. To ensure freshness, certain ingredients are then placed in food-safe plastic packaging. Once you receive your box, you want to store everything directly into your fridge or freezer right away, unless you can’t wait and decide to whip up a quick meal. If you’re not too sure how to make the best out of the ingredients you are given, HelloFresh has recipes for each meal on their website. If you’re not one to follow recipes, get creative and put your own twist on it.

This subscription box is absolutely perfect for anyone who loves to spend time in the kitchen, or enjoys experimenting with new foods. And you never know, maybe you’ll get a tasty Christmas dinner from it.

If you are interested in trying one of these delicious subscription boxes, visit www.hellofresh.ca and have your pick. When checking out, use my code ‘NOVELLA60’ for $30 off your first box. If you decide to order another one, use the same code to receive $30 off your second box! So lets get cooking this holiday season. Cheers, and enjoy.

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MONTH OF MAY BEAUTY RECAP: BRAIDS

For the month of May, many women were sporting multiple hairstyles, but with one particular theme in mind, braids. Braids have always been hugely popular, but for whatever reason, the trend has just recently skyrocketed—I’m going to take a wild guess and say, pop culture and the Kardashians.

Whatever the case may be, these different braiding techniques are so on trend and can be sported for any occasion, or with any attire. Whether you are dressed up, or casual, these mini flashback hairstyles will help to complete your look.

Two Braid Pigtails

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This hairstyle can be done with hair that is at any length, and will still look cute and fierce. The two braid pigtail hairstyle which is highly done by the Kardashian clan has taken on a whole new meaning to braids. I prefer this style with a more dressed down approach, something on the lines of sporty, or athletic. But again, it can be done with any outfit, for any occasion.

Four Braids

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Why only style your head with two braids when you can have four? The more, the merrier! This hairstyle is done the same way as the two French braids. Having four instead of two, definitely adds a little more spunk and funk to this braiding trend.

Waterfall Braid

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The waterfall braid is so simple, yet, so elegant, and is incredibly easy to achieve. The name comes from the way the one braid falls and blends with the rest of hair. This style is gorgeous when straight, but even better when waved, or curled.

Top Knot French Braid

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Top knot buns are already very trendy, but you can make it even more fashionable by adding a braid to it. The French braid is done up the back of the head and brought straight into the bun. Top knots can be worn super casual or made into a sleek fancy bun, but this style steps it up a notch.

Halo Braid

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This is another hairstyle that celebrities have been rocking on the red carpet and at award shows. The halo braid is yet another simple braiding hairstyle that can be worn for consecutive days at a time. The way the braid wraps around the head giving a ‘halo’ look, adds more of an angelic feel to it. Wouldn’t you agree?

Inverted French Braid

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With all these new braids on the block, we tend to forget about one of the most classic ones, the French braid. I’m sure we have all had this braid done when we were little and have taken its legacy with us as responsible grown-ups. But it’s 2016, and of course, there is always a new spin on something. The inverted French braid is similar to a regular one, but instead of braiding over, you braid the hair under. It gives your hair more volume and has sort of an inside-out look to it.

SHOP ALL WEEKEND: PALMER’S COCOA BUTTER FORMULA TWO STEP REGIMEN

Everyone wants a beautiful summer glow to their skin, and it’s only a perfect way to reintroduce yourself after these long cold months. But to get the ideal skin, and that warm glow, it doesn’t take much. People may think that they need tons of different products to receive the results they have been dreaming of, but to be quite honest, sometimes it’s best to keep your regime to a minimal. Over usage of a particular product, or using too many products at once can cause significant irritation to the skin, and can also end in unwanted breakouts.

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula is a brand that has been around for years and is known for satisfying the needs of their customers with whatever skin concerns they are facing.

With many successful products on the market, Palmers is introducing two new ones to bring simplicity to our skincare routine, and bright, healthy skin we all yearn for.

Palmer’s Skin Therapy Cleansing Oil

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The Palmer’s Skin Therapy Cleansing Oil is step one to give to your skin a nice deep clean. It is enriched with Grapeseed, Jojoba and Rosehip Oils, and Vitamin C. All of these properties aids in nourishing and healing the skin, without over-drying, or making the skin too oily.

To cleanse, use the oil on dry skin and gently rub it all over. You can then splash some water on your face and continue to rub, as the oil starts to produce a milky texture. Rinse well, and use this product both day and night. Not only is this cleansing oil a gentle face wash, but it also makes great use as a makeup remover. It will diminish any trace of a foundation, powder, and eye makeup, leaving your skin smooth and clean.

This product is ideal for all skin types, is non-comedogenic, paraben free, hypoallergenic, phthalate free, mineral oil free and will not clog your pores.

PRICE: $7.97

Palmer’s Skin Perfecting Beauty Oil

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The second step in the regime is the Palmer’s Skin Perfecting Beauty Oil. This oil is applied directly after cleansing and can be used during both the day and night. Since this oil is targeted towards demising fine lines and wrinkles, dark spots, age spots, and uneven skin tone, it is infused with a small percentage of Retinol, Vitamin C, ten pure oils, and is highly recommended to use a sunscreen right after. This oil is extremely lightweight, and will not have your face feeling greasy.

Just like the cleanser, it is ideal for all skin types, is non-comedogenic, paraben free, hypoallergenic, phthalate free, mineral oil free and will not clog your pores

PRICE: $9.97

All Products can be found in store or online at http://walmart.ca

SUMMER WEATHER SKINCARE TIPS

The hot summer weather is finally here, and hopefully, there is no turning back! We’ve had enough of the cold and snow, and are ready to slip in our sundresses, while sipping mojitos on a patio. With the change in weather, our skin begins to change as well.

Have you ever taken the time to observe the difference in your skin during the colder and warmer months? Have you noticed a change in texture, appearance, and elasticity? During the winter period, because the air is cold, it makes the skin a lot more drier and brittle. The skin may also have a dull appearance to it, which is why it is highly recommended to keep your skin moisturized. Doing so will not only save you and your skin from experiencing any unwanted cracking, but it will also prevent any future fine lines and wrinkles.

I am sure by the time summer rolls around; you probably think that you have no skin worries since the heat will act as a natural moisturizer; wrong! Since the climate goes through a drastic change leaving the air to become more moister, your skin immediately reacts and sometimes does not adjust right away. If you have ever been to a dermatologist, they will tell you to stay away from saunas, or not to take hot baths because it isn’t the best route for your skin. Hot water opens the pores, while cold water closes them. That is why your skin will be more prone to breakouts, and your pores are more visible during the warmer months. Don’t Worry, you can still take that vacation to the Bahamas next month; I just have some tips that will save your skin from this pesky heat.

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With the sun blazing down, you will, of course, start to perspire a lot more than usual. When we sweat it is our body’s way of cooling us down, but we also don’t want to keep that perspiration on our skin. If you are out and about, try holding a cloth on you so that you can wipe away any excess sweat; however, the second you get the chance, wash your face! Sweating causes a build-up of oil and dirt so that you will want that off your face as soon as possible. Wash your face with lukewarm water, since hot water can also strip the skin of moisture.

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The weather usually cools down around the evening time leaving a nice summer breeze. Although there’s a slight drop in the temperature, that doesn’t mean your skin won’t react. You may not have sweat buildup, this time, but more so of an oil accumulation. When this happens, avoid touching your face with your hands since that can transfer bacteria to the skin, and only use blotting sheets instead. Blotting sheets will instantly soak up any unwanted oil, leaving your face looking clean and completely oil free. If it’s a special night out and you have your face all done up, do not worry, the blotting sheets will not remove an ounce of your makeup.

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If you’re like me and suffer from super oily skin, try opting for an oil-free moisturizer. Oil-free moisturizers are typically very lightweight simply because they are water-based. That is perfect for the warmer months as it won’t leave your skin feeling heavy, overly greasy, and won’t clog the pores. A trick I like to use is avoiding the T-Zone region while moisturizing since that is the area that gets the moist oily.

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If you choose to wear makeup and like using a base primer, the best way to go is with a matte primer for oily skin. In the previous tip, we avoided the T-Zone region with moisturizer, but this time around we’re going to fill it in using the primer. If you choose to apply it to your entire face, that is fine as well.

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The last and probably the most important tip is to use sunscreen! Everyone should be utilizing a sunscreen with a high SPF, which will keep your skin safe, avoid any burns, and prevents your chances of developing skin cancer. Find an oil-free sunscreen which will also feel light on the skin, and won’t leave it feeling heavy, greasy, or uncomfortable.

MIRAJ HAMMAM SPA EXPERIENCE

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Photo Credit: www.narcity.com

If you’re feeling stressed out, anxious, or a bit on edge from the tasks of everyday life, that is completely normal and you are definitely not alone. Just take a deep breathe and make some time to treat yourself. Everyone deserves a little pampering every once in a while. It’s a nice way to sit back, relax, and just ease your mind. The luxury of pampering can include a soothing massage, cleansing facials, or even fancying up your nails with a manicure and pedicure.

There are plenty of ways to distress, and why not doing so at the one and only Shangri-La Hotel located right in our city of Toronto? The luxurious five star hotel includes the Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie Paris, which is available to absolutely anyone on an appointment basis. The moment you walk in, you’ll feel the calming atmosphere that this elaborate spa has, and you will already feel your stress levels lowering, even before you begin whichever treatment you are booked for.

The spa offers a variety of treatments that one can partake in such as: Hammam, massages, facials, body care, hands and feet, waxing and voyages and retreats. I had the amazing opportunity to receive one of the facial treatments called the Resveratrol Lift Treatment (Firming). This one hour facial is meant to bring life back into the skin, especially if it is lacking vitality and firmness. You see an immediate difference in the overall appearance of your skin, through the texture, complexion, and the lift that the facial offers. The treatment is done using Caudalie’s Resveratrol Lift Firming Products, which are completely natural. All Caudalie products have no parabens, phenoxyethanol, phthalates, mineral oils, sodium laureth sulfate or animal ingredients.

Before starting my treatment I spoke with my aesthetician, and she also gave me the chance to personalize my facial by tackling any problem areas I may have—for myself, that would be dark spots . Then she took a look at my skin and worked her magic to give my face a more firm and re-scultped transformation. The steps followed throughout the facial were to exfoliate, cleanse, tone, and two extra products were used for an expert treatment.

Here are a list of the products used during my Resveratrol Lift Treatment.

Exfoliate

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Caudalie Deep Cleansing Exfoliator

Cleanse

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Caudalie Gentle Cleansing Milk

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Caudalie Micellar Cleansing Water

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Caudalie Instant Foaming Cleanser 

Tone

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Caudalie Moisturizing Toner

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Caudalie Grape Water

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Caudalie Beauty Elixir 

Expert Treatments

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Caudalie Moisturizing Cream Mask

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Caudalie Purifying Mask

The Resveratrol Lift Treatment (Firming) is available on an appointment basis, Monday to Friday (excluding holidays) $175 and Saturday, Sunday, and Holidays  $185.

All products are available for purchase at Miraj Hammam Spa or at Sephora http://www.sephora.com