Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask with Echinacea GreenEnvy Review

Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask with Echinacea GreenEnvy

Supporting ethical brands is something that is important to me. Farmacy is a unique brand, that started in New York, which uses powerful superfood ingredients within their products. The Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask with Echinacea Green Envy ($75), is packed with highly concentrated ingredients that leave your skin feeling its best.

What exactly is this product?

To start things off, this mask has a base of honey. Honey moisturizes, cleanses, exfoliates, fades scars, treats acne, brightens and protects skin from environmental damages. The honey they use is all harvested from their farms where the bees pollinate from their echinacea plants. So naturally, the honey is highly concentrated with echinacea, which also has various skincare benefits. Echinacea is anti-aging, fights acne, and soothes the skin (fights redness and heals irritations). The two ingredients together work quickly on the skin to leave your skin highly moisturized, glowing, clear and nourished- in as little as two weeks.

My Review:

I’ve used countless skincare products on my skin, many of those being different kinds of masks. There was something different about this mask that called out to me. To start things off, I like how the brand uses fresh ingredients with high antioxidants in it. In the jar, the mask seems to look similar to a jar of honey. The jar includes a spatula that is magnetized so you never lose it. When you scoop the product out of the jar, the mask appears to be thick like honey, but as you apply it to the skin it completely changes consistency. The mask turns white and becomes very smooth and creamy. It also warms up on the skin which feels amazing. Another thing that I like is that you don’t have to leave the mask on for too long, 10-15 minutes is all. My skincare routine is long enough, the last thing I want is to leave a mask on for ages. After leaving it on, the mask was super easy to remove. A little bit of warm water did the trick. What my skin felt like heaven afterwards is what made me fall in love with this product after a single use (I legit want to buy their entire line of products now). My skin felt so soft, clean and hydrated that I kept rubbing my cheeks, completely obsessed with how it felt. The next day my skin still felt just as amazing and my makeup slid on like a dream. It was as if I’d gone to a spa and had an intensive treatment. If you’re wanting your skin feeling as amazing as mine did, you’ll have to check this product out.

This product is available online from Sephora as well as the Farmacy website.

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Q Esthetics Laser Clinic: The Future of Skincare

TEXT: Alexander Sauve

Located in one of the most prestigious and stylish areas of Toronto, Q Esthetics Laser Clinic in Yorkville delivers premium skincare in a contemporary and modern atmosphere. Offering a variety of skin and laser treatments, Q Esthetics is a leader in its field due to its innovative treatments and procedures executed by its highly qualified team of skincare professionals.

My treatment began with a skin analysis to detect any possible signs of photodamage beneath the skin’s surface. Being of a certain age, I wasn’t overly surprised to find that my skin indeed had a few age spots and wrinkles beginning to form just underneath the surface. Word to the wise — never tan and stay out of the sun.

After the skin analysis my skin was cleansed and prepped for the next stage of the treatment — a SilkPeel. A SilkPeel Dermalinfusion is a very light, non-invasive procedure that provides gentle exfoliation, while adding skin specific ingredients back into the skin for a healthier complexion.

There are three formulas of SilkPeels available and each is tailor-made to treat your skin’s individual needs in a variety of ways. For acne prone skin, there is the Clarifying SilkPeel, which promotes faster cell turnover through gentle exfoliation, while unclogging dirt and debris from the pores, revealing a clearer, more manageable complexion.

The hydrating SilkPeel deeply nourishes the skin with Hyaluronic Acid. Hyaluronic Acid is often used to treat the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while improving overall tone and texture to the complexion. This peel is often used to treat skin that is dry and in need of deep hydration and moisture.

Due to my skin’s penchant for being overly dry during the winter months (most often resembling the Sahara Desert), my SilkPeel was infused with a Vitamin C Solution. Vitamin C helps to brighten and tone tired looking skin while working as a secondary defense against further sun damage. Environmental stress, or just stress in general, along with pollutants and regular facial aging can wreck havoc on the complexion.

A derivative of Vitamin E is added to the QMAX Facial to help protect the complexion from any further photodamage, while improving the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and facial scarring. Aloe is used to further hydrate the skin, while Allantoin and Dipotassium soothes and calms the skin.

The last part of treatment was out of this world. My face was pampered with a laser procedure for 30 minutes. Various light pulses worked deeply to penetrate beneath my skin’s surface to tackle and/or destroy any complexion imperfections that may be en route to the skin’s surface. After the laser treatment, my skin was treated to various creams and serums to hydrate my skin.

Without hesitation, I would argue that this is one of the best facials currently available on the market. After just one treatment, the results were immediate. My complexion is clearer, brighter, and more even in tone. Fine lines, wrinkles, and discoloration have been virtually erased and smoothed away, while my overall facial volume has been restored.

By now, you’re most likely wondering how much this anti-aging wonder will set you back. A facial of this caliber does not usually come inexpensive and will set you back $325 before taxes. But it’s well worth it. If you’re looking to knock off a couple of years. At Q Esthetics it’s not just about how you look, but how you feel.

Conveniently located in three locations: 38 Bellair Street (Yorkville) in Toronto, 802 Sutherland Rd in Mississauga and 800 Steeles Ave West in Thornhill. Further information can be found online at www.qesthetics.com

Why millennials stop taking the birth control pill.

In 1951, in the United States, Dr. Gregory Pincus opened a biology research center to work on sex hormones. Five years later, he and his team were developing a combination of progesterone and synthetic estrogen (female hormones). That was the first pill, called Enovid, a revolution for women all over the world. At least it was thought to be.

Where the baby boomer generation saw an ally and possibilities of freedom in the pill, millennials are rejecting it. After a long history as a symbol of emancipation, why is the birth control pill controversial today?

In the past few years, we’ve heard more and more testimonials about severe side effects caused by birth control. We now know that taking third generation pills like Yasmin, Femodene, and Marvelon can raise the chance of getting a blood clot.

Lucie Cabalou, a 32-year-old French woman, decided a year ago to stop the pill. “When I decided to be on the pill years ago, it was like many other girls to prevent pregnancy. I felt like it was a good and mature decision to take. Unfortunately nobody, not even my gynecologist, informed me about the side effects.”

It is a real problem as millennials can feel that they are alone, being forced to choose between safe contraceptives and overall health.

“After years on Yasmin, I realized that I was always tired and hungry, I never felt full with food. Because of that I gained a lot of weight. I also realized that my libido decreased. Those are not big symptoms but when I realized it was because of my birth control, I looked for the other side effect of Yasmin and I was shocked.” Lucie explained.

Birth control pills can give you terrible side effects: it can suppress of natural hormone production, harm your digestive system, deplete your vital nutrients, triple your chances to have blood clots, etc. Despite women who have been vocal about their experiences in and out of the judicial system, the pharmaceutical industry does not seem concerned and gynecologists are not bettering the situation.

“When I asked my doctor about this effects, she told me that there were no liked between them and my birth control. I stopped taking it a year ago and all my symptoms diapered. I also realized how it changed me in a way I cannot explain. My mood changes depending on my menstrual cycle which is a natural thing, whereas I always felt the same before…  I can feel it inside my body, I wasn’t myself the past years” said Lucie.

That’s terrifying!!!!

Holiday Beauty Gift Guide 2017

Let’s say you’ve got a beauty junkie in your life.

Someone that takes at least 30 minutes to get ready, someone who plans their makeup before their outfit (or even coordinates them, which is pretty next level), someone who knows the difference in tones between red lipsticks or someone who enters Sephora and actually knows what they’re looking for.

What do you get this person for Christmas?

Firstly, don’t underestimate the power of a good snoop. See what brands they seem to like, items they go through quickly. Listen to them when they talk about makeup. Maybe there’s something they wouldn’t necessarily buy for themselves, but something they’ve always wanted.

While you can always go the gift card route — tried and true, though a little uninspired —  you could also dive headfirst into Christmas-shopping-mania and find the perfect gift for the beauty lover in your life.

We can help you there.

tarte Limited Edition Treasure Box

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This is a wildly-well-priced gift set from a wonderful makeup brand, containing almost everything you need to do a full face of makeup except for foundation. tarte’s makeup is good, in the nature of full disclosure they are one of my favourite brands, and is entirely vegan if your beauty junkie is concerned with the ingredients of the product. This guy will keep on giving: the potential for a lot of use, over a long period of time.

Find it here.

Juliette Has a Gun Discovery Kit

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Fragrance is so specific to every person that it’s hard to get it right unless you know someone really well. A good solution to that, of course, is to bombard them with so many scent options they have no choice but to find one they really like (and possibly regift the rest.) Mini perfumes are perfect to take on the go, not to mention Juliette Has a Gun have some wonderfully unique and gorgeous scents available. This is the perfect way for someone to be introduced to the brand.

Find it here.

Tom Ford Black Orchid Set

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So yes, scent is specific to every person, but come on, I think everyone likes Tom Ford. His makeup brand is the pinnacle of luxury. The packaging! The scent! The price tag! This is a splurge gift for sure, only for those who have made peace with a high budget, but if you know your intended gift receiver is a bit of a lush, the you know this gift will be a hit. Like, when you wear this, you smell expensive.

Find it here.

Sephora Favourites Give Me Some Nude Lip

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If you can’t decide on one lipstick to get someone, or if you go spying in their makeup collection see so many brands you don’t even understand how its possible, I will point you in the direction of the Sephora Favourites lip set. This gift set has lippies from Kat Von D, Buxom and Bite Beauty and contains both liquid lipsticks and, well… lip-sitcks. And they’re all nudes so they’re guaranteed to actually be used. Basically the perfect gift for the person you have no idea what to get for.

Find it here.

Fenty Beauty

Okay, so we all know Rihanna is a goddess who can do no wrong, and it was a surprise to absolutely no one that there makeup collection is damn good. Even if someone already has pieces from the collection, it seems unlikely someone would say no to getting more Fenty Beauty. Nearly everything from the collection is a safe bet, but may I point you towards:

Galaxy Eyeshadow Palette
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Glittery eyeshadows galore in beautiful, limited edition packaging.

Find it here.

Killawatt Freestyle Highlight in Trophy Wife
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The greatest highlighter to have ever been made. Whoever wears it will literally look like a million bucks. Like a stack of gold coins.

Find it here.

MAC Rossy de Palma Collection

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“Limited edition” and “collaboration” are words that are pretty exciting and hysteria-inducing in the beauty community and MAC is on top of the game. Their collabs are always timely, well-made, and beyond tempting. They do have a few available right now, such as the Nicki Minaj and Robert Lee Morris collections, and, while both are exquisite, my personal favourite is the collection with Spanish actress Rossy de Palma partly because she’s fabulous and partly because the packaging is so luxe.

Find the collection here.

MAC Snow Ball Pigment and Glitter Kit

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If you know your gift-intended loves some glitz and glam in their life, why not give the gift of glitter? MAC pigments are famous for their staying power and potency and these colours are perfect for the winter. Not to mention they come in a cute little disco ball clutch for even more glam.

Find it here.

Colorpop Yes Please! Palette

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Colorpop is a well-made, incredibly fairly-priced makeup brand, so most of their products are good for the more modest budget but will make a huge impact. The Yes Please! palette is a real show-stopper for the brand. The palette was on Nylon’s beauty hit list of 2017 and features 12 gorgeous warm-toned shades, guaranteed to look good on everyone.

Find it here.

L’Occitane Advent Calendar

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At this point, it’s getting close to the wire, but I had to include one beauty advent calendar, firstly because they are just the best and secondly because they are so difficult to find in Canada that we all need to share the good ones when we are able to find them. L’Occitane’s advent calendar is pretty iconic already, at a decent price point for the amount of high-quality products you get from it. This year they’ve also put out a premium advent calendar for the big spenders, but the original is a great way to introduce someone to the brand if they’ve never tried it before.

Find it here.

L’Occitane Divine Collection

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For the skincare fanatic in your life, L’Occitane is a good way to go, and their Divine collection is a particularly well-advised gifting idea. It’s anti-aging, but you won’t necessarily offend anyone by giving it to them because the products in this line are also moisturizing, luminizing and all-around nice-skin-makers. (That being said, maybe don’t gift this to anyone who is real sensitive about aging.) The set contains an all-over cream, an eye cream, a cleaner and a face oil — a full skincare routine ready to go.

Find it here.

Inspired Soap Works Velvety Salve

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Lastly, I’ve got something pretty different from everything else we’ve talked about on here. Inspired Soap Works is a smaller Canadian company with a big impact, selling hand-made affordable skincare products. One of their last launches are a line of salves for the entire body, from head to toe. The salves are formulated without water, so despite them coming in small packages, they really will go a long way. These are the ideal ~stocking stuffers~.

Find it here.

5 Body Treatments Every Guy Should Consider This Winter

Text: Peter Minkoff

We age — it’s inevitable. But we have better ways to combat that than ever before, especially since the taboo of men + beauty is on its last legs. Winter is coming and it’s time to prepare yourselves for those holiday dinners and parties. Good thing there’s no need to undergo invasive cosmetic surgeries just to look your best. Take a look at these five beauty treatments every guy should consider before Christmas.

Massages

One hours on the massage table will do wonders for your body, you can be sure of that. Taking a sport massage should definitely be on your to-do list before the end of 2017. Sports massages are not only for the Michael Jordans of the world. Make your muscles fresh, and up and running again. If you’re an athlete, this is a must for you — if you train like a pro, you should learn to relax like one. Even if you’re not really training for anything, try this massage and you’ll see the results as soon as you get off the table.

Facial treatments

Drinking beer, fixing cars, chopping wood — that whole “being a real man” thing can really take a toll on your face, but you still think facial treatments are only for women? Anti-aging treatments, removing impurities and chemical peels are just some of the things you can treat yourself with. Not only will these treatments make your face look fresh, but they will also help your skin remain young and soft. So promise yourself to visit your beautician at least once every two months!

Manicure / Pedicure 

Even though you can’t spell manicure without man, it took ages for guys to consider getting their fingernails done. Did you know that almost 1/3 of times a mans’ hands are one of the first things anybody notices? Up until a couple of years ago, many men had manicures and pedicures in the comfort of their own homes (they would maybe have been embarrassed were they to be seen in a beauty parlour), but a lot of athletes and celebrities have since been vocal about their beauty treatments, and, now, it’s not unusual to see a guy getting his nails done. If you think you should get one done, do so. Hands are very important and leave big impressions on people.

Non-surgical liposuction

After botoxing was normalized, many men turned to other non-surgical treatments to get their bodies or faces into shape. One such procedure is the non-surgical liposuction, which is a non-intrusive and pain-free way of getting rid of all the unwanted fat pockets in your body. With a body sculpting treatment, in just about 60 minutes, you could eliminate that chunk of fat you were trying to get rid of through diet and exercise.

Eyebrows

Groomed beards are definitely a thing now. It’s almost impossible to see a bearded guy who doesn’t take care of his beard. However, many forget the eyebrows, another set of facial hairs that’s equally important. Monobrows, McDonald eyebrows, birds, etc. should most certainly be a thing of the past. Add plucking your eyebrows and simply taking care of them on your list.

To sum up, getting a nice beauty treatment is for both guys and girls, and you shouldn’t be scared to do this for yourself. Do this at least once, and see the results. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to do it again. But it’s at least worth a try.

The Christmas gift guide for Francophiles

Few days ago I went to the Distillery Christmas market and realized that Christmas will be upon us in 38 days… yes, they put a huge countdown at the entrance and you cannot miss it!!! As you read these words, you have even less time left so it’s time for you to think about gifts. If you have Francophiles around, this gift guide is going to help you.

Ma P’tite Culotte, women’s lingerie

Offering a new set of lingeries to a woman you love is always a good idea. Ma P’tite Culotte is a French brand that offers an optimistic and enthusiastic line of lingeries. For her last collection, Charline Goutal decided to create pieces that correspond to women’s moods.

Available on Ma Ptite Culotte website

Le Slip Français, French underpants

The founders of this underwear brand believe that companies can no longer just be economic forces with a narrow sense of purpose; they must, instead, define and pursue certain values. Their definition of success includes the well-being of those around them and the sustainability of their business: “You want to change the world? Start by changing your briefs.”

Available on Le Slip Français website

MAGNETHIK ethical handbags

MAGNETHIK is a brand founded by Fabienne Pomi, a French, vegan fashion lover who offers made in France and vegan handbags. All the pieces are made without any animal products and according to an ecological and ethical process. MAGNETHIK has been voted “Best Fashion Novelty” by the PETA association in 2016.

Available at Importation Lou

Chapon chocolates

Patrice Chapon is one of seven French bean-to-bar chocolate makers. His know-how is internationally recognized — he just got two awards from Salon du Chocolat in Paris.

Available on Chapon website and in Toronto at McEwan Don Mills and TD Centre Location.

Red wine

A Francophile will always appreciate a glass of good red wine. This gift is probably the safest — you cannot go wrong with it. If you feel like offering a bottle of red wine to one of your relatives, I recommend this bottle of Château Vignot Saint Emilion, 2009. It goes perfectly with cheese.

Available at LCBO