Review: True Glow by Conair

Shedding your dry winter skin in exchange for soft and supple summer skin can be a challenge. I’ve heard of skin brushing before, but never once have I ever thought to give it a try myself. To be honest, I always viewed it as an additional, and rather unnecessary, part of a beauty routine. My skin has always had a dry and uneven texture to it. And up until recently I also believed that my skin was too dry and sensitive to use a skin brush to exfoliate my face. As it turns out, skin brushing has been proven to have many positive health benefits like increasing circulation, eliminating waste and toxins, reducing fat deposits, and even tightening the skin and toning muscles.

True Glow from Conair is an excellent way to rejuvenate yourself for the summer months and buff away your drab winter skin. True Glow has various attachments to help exfoliate and eliminate dead skin, leaving your skin incredibly soft and refreshed. It also uses Sonic technology, which means there is not just a rotation but also a pulsation to lift dirt from the skin and help to cleanse clogged pores. The device also has a high, medium, and low settings, which makes it perfect for people with different skin types. It is rechargeable, waterproof, and relatively compact, which makes it ideal for storage purposes and traveling.

My Experience

After my very first time using True Glow by Conair, I was blown away. I couldn’t believe I had waited all this time to try skin brushing. The first thing I noticed immediately after using it was the difference in my skin’s texture. I suffer from rough, dry, uneven texture and it has been nearly impossible for me to find something that was consistently benefiting my skin. The first time I used it was in the evening as a part of my bedtime skincare routine. I had removed my makeup before using it, and I decided to use the lowest power setting since it was my first time using the device. Afterward, my face felt successfully cleaned and exfoliated without feeling tight or irritated. It removed all the excess dirt and makeup that was left behind by my makeup remover. Honestly, I also feel like it’s the best way to get the most out of your facial cleanser and skin care routine. The benefits of a facial cleanser are enhanced with the help of skin brushing. After about a week of consistent use, I genuinely believe my skin has never looked or felt better. It looks clearer, healthier, and more toned. I am so happy I jumped on the skin brushing bandwagon, and I can’t see myself ever jumping off! If you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend giving skin brushing a chance.

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Review: Erborian Glow Crème

One of my favourite beauty trends from the last few years is, in a word, glow.

Go to any makeup store and there’s probably a display about shimmering blushes, radiant highlighters, and natural-looking light coverage foundations promising a “natural glow.”

Finding that right shine is a big task for many makeup lovers aiming to straddle looking radiant and looking sweaty. A good glow is a game changer. Finding that perfect highlighter can transform you from a regular human being to an ethereal, mystical creature. That’s a tall order for makeup, but tell me there hasn’t been days where you’re wearing a bomb highlight and every time you catch your reflection you think, Damn. 

So finding a fantastic highlighter is one thing, but what about an all-over glow? Hourglass has their Ambient Lighting powders, made to be worn on top of foundation on the whole complexion. The Burberry Fresh Glow foundation promises a dewy, straight from the gym look. There are even primers that promise an overall highlighting effect underneath foundation. L’Oréal has theirs with the Magic Lumi primer, and now Erborian has their own with their brand new Glow Crème.

Photo Source

Erborian, launched in 2007, is a skincare brand created by Korean scientist Hojung Lee and French beauty expert Katalin Berenyi. Since the launch, it has developed a loyal following for its cult-favourite products such as the Pink Perfect Crème. It’s easy to see why — think of the most notable beauty and skincare countries, and you’ll probably think of Korea and France. A brand that combines the two? Consider me interested.

Erborian develops all of its products in Seoul and says that they are inspired by Korean traditions. I’ve tried a few other Korean skincare brands in the past and I will say, man, do they know their skincare.

Now, Erborian has joined the glow club with the Glow Crème. They describe the product as a multi-benefit cream that has an illuminating effect and blurs imperfections on the skin.

When I was reading up on the product, I did immediately think of the Magic Lumi primer, which promises a lot of the same things, except it is recommended to be worn with foundation, or even in select spots to highlight. However, if you do try the products side by side, you immediately see a difference in the formula. The Magic Lumi primer is much thinner in consistency and wears more as a liquid highlighter than an actual primer or face cream.

I was curious, then, to try out the Glow Crème both on its own and under foundation. Without foundation, I do have spots of redness in my complexion, as well as freckles and a few acne scars. The Glow Crème definitely doesn’t replace foundation, or even BB cream, but it did even out my skin tone, and does it ever make you glow.

I usually wear lighter foundations, so my face never really looks matte. For me, using the cream resulted in healthier-looking skin, like I had actually had some sun in the past few days instead of being stuck inside because of the never-ending rain. It created a gorgeous glow, even without a highlighter or shimmery finishing powder.

Is it worth the $42 price tag? Maybe. It does make your skin ridiculously soft and fresh-looking. However, it also depends on your skincare needs. While the Magic Lumi primer has a similar effect underneath foundation, the Glow Crème wears like a moisturizer. It makes your skin very soft but doesn’t feel heavy or slick. For oily skins it would be a better choice than the drugstore alternative, as other glow primers have made me breakout in the past whereas I’ve yet to have problems with the Glow Crème.

If you are looking for a little extra glow in your life, especially with summer around the corner, this is definitely one to check out.

In Canada, Erborian is available through Sephora. Find out more about the brand here. Continue following our beauty & lifestyle coverage on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Review: SkinHealth King West

Your skin is the largest, the most visible, and the most complex human organ. That’s why it is so incredibly important to take good care of it. Give yourself an extra boost of nutrition — and I’m not talking about clean eating and kale diets. Feed your skin with the proper vitamins and it will thank you!

SkinHealth Clinics (I visited the King St. West location), focus on achieving sustainable and natural results by Feeding, Boosting, and Finishing your skin using their Skin90 treatment plan. It all starts with a consultation regarding your skin goals and concerns, and what needs to be done for your skin to thrive. As it turns out your skin needs active ingredients like vitamins A, C, and E, antioxidants, and peptides. Your feed is the take home product and “daily diet” your skin needs to sustain itself in a healthy way. During your consultation, you will discuss an at-home skin care routine that best suits your needs and concerns. Your boost is the in clinic treatment. This appointment with your Skin Coach and Registered Nurse takes approximately 90 minutes. It’s designed to increase penetration of active ingredients, i.e., Vitamins A, C, and E, stimulate collagen and elastin production. Long story short, one in-clinic boost is equal to 40 days of at home product, so it is the perfect way to accelerate results and achieve healthier skin faster. Finishing treatments address specific concerns around volume loss (fillers), and wrinkles (Botox) if necessary for your skin.

My Experience

I never really thought of my skin as something that needs to be “fed” a healthy diet. But SkinHealth taught me, and showed me, how important vitamins are for your skin. My skin has come a long way over the years. But, like everyone, I have specific skin concerns. My skin is dry, red, and is prone to breakouts and blackheads. Overall, it’s not terrible, but it could definitely improve.

After discussing my concerns with Melissa, my Skin Coach, and registered nurse, she chose a clinic treatment for my needs. My boost treatment plan was called Environ’s DF Vitamin Infusion Treatment. It started with a gentle clay mask exfoliation and deep cleanse. After that, we used something called “sonophoresis,” which uses a probe to produce high-frequency sound to “shake” the skin cells and allow the active ingredients to fall through. It feels like someone is massaging your face and at times you can hear a high pitched sound. For the last step of my boost treatment she used “iontophoresis.” This final step uses energy to help push active ingredients into the skin with a thick white alginate mask. This mask was unlike anything I had ever experienced. I didn’t feel anything really, except a very thick sheet masking cover your entire face including your eyes and mouth (optional), but for the first few seconds, after the mask was clipped to an energy producing machine, you can see a little light show while your eyes are sealed shut. Overall, it was a very different but informative and cool experience.

Final Thoughts

When I left the clinic, my skin felt super soft, clean, and refreshed. When I got home and looked in the mirror, it looked healthier and more glowing than it ever had. I took a selfie in the car and posted it on my Instagram story. A friend of mine texted me asking if I had makeup on, and I said no. She was amazed at the results. So I guess what I’m trying to say is my skin was clearly thirsty for vitamins, and I would absolutely recommend SkinHealth’s treatment if you are having trouble with your skin, or you just want to try giving your skin an extra boost. They offer a variety of different treatments plans to focus on various concerns from aging to acne and everything in between. If you are in a crunch and need to be ready for an event, it is the perfect way to get your skin in the best shape it can be in!

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A New Standard: The Rise of the Male Beauty Vlogger

TEXT: Alexander Sauve

The signing of a male face to a predominately female brand is big business, and cosmetics giants are jumping at the chance to have men as their latest beauty brand ambassadors. According to WWD, more young men are into cosmetics and are no longer afraid to express themselves, and the industry is going where the men are. With that comes the rise and success of male beauty vloggers. Here are five social media gurus shaking up the beauty business.

James Charles

When you think of Covergirl, a few famous names may come to mind — Christie Brinkley, Tyra Banks, Taylor Swift, and, more recently, Katy Perry. Until very recently, as is the case with many other cosmetics brands, Covergirl has been predominately marketed to women of all ages.

In October 2016, 17-year-old James Charles was named the first male spokesperson for the cosmetics brand. With approximately 1.5 million Instagram followers and more than 885,000 Youtube subscribers (www.youtube.com/jamescharles), James Charles was the easy breezy choice for Covergirl. The cosmetic brand expressed their excitement: “Role models are boundary breakers, fearlessly expressing themselves, standing up for what they believe, and redefining what it means to be beautiful… and James is no exception”.

Alex Rivera

Despite nearly 200,000 Youtube subscribers(www.youtube.com/AlexRivera20) and 272,000 followers on Instagram, for 26-year-old Alex Rivera it’s not all about glamour. This edgy and talented artist takes his makeup application to the next level with his special FX Halloween vlogs. His 31 days of Halloween makeup tutorials remain unchallenged due to his skill, technique, and pure imagination.

His vlogs are also chock full of ah-mazing makeup, skin and hair care advice. His natural, No Make-up, Makeup, Tutorial for Men is particularly poignant for guys who want to improve their appearance with a little foundation but want the coverage to look as natural as possible. According to Rivera, for natural looking coverage it’s important to stay away from too much product. Try Baca’s Ultimate Coverage Complexion Crème ($53.00 www.sephora.com)  

Wayne Goss

Makeup artist and brush extraordinaire Wayne Goss takes a more natural approach to makeup application. At 39, his tutorials are beginner friendly and extremely useful for the guy who prefers to keep his age, shall we say, concealed. With nearly 3 million Youtube subscribers (www.youtube.com/gossmakeupartist), 545,000 Instagram followers, a successful brush line (www.beautylish.com), and collaborations with UK based skin guru Paula’s Choice, Goss is at the top of his beauty game.

His tutorials cover everything from the trouble with cream concealers to foundation application and must have products. Many of Goss’ vlogs focus on those pesky creases that foundation and concealer can leave after settling into fine lines due to wear and oil build-up. For Goss, he stays away from cream concealers because “they can make you look 700 hundred years old, which no one wants”.

In his vlog, The Trouble with Concealer: Caking into Lines, Goss explains that due to its texture cream concealer easily settles into fines lines regardless of age. To combat this problem, Goss recommends using a primer to stop the concealer from creasing or caking. It’s also best to find a concealer that is liquid in form. Try Nars Creamy Concealer ($37.00 www.Sephora.com)

Manny Gutierrez

Youtube and Instagram sensation Manny Gutierrez, also know as Manny MUA, is a successful makeup and beauty vlogger who believes that “makeup is genderless”. His Youtube channel (www.youtube.com/MannyMua733) has nearly 3,000,000 subscribers, while  his Instagram account has a staggering 3.5 million followers.

Similar to James Charles, Manny has scored a contract with a major beauty brand. The media star and beauty influencer will promote Maybelline’s Big Shot Mascara by Colossal. According to an article by the New York Times, “beauty contracts are the brass ring for celebrities — a nod to a rising profile, broadening profiles and wallets.” Manny will be the first male spokesperson for the cosmetics brand.

Gabriel Zamora

 

With his Rainbow Bright blue hair, flawless skin, and utterly gorgeous pout you can’t get much prettier then Gabriel Zamora. His stunning transformations and amazing makeup tutorials will leave you breathless. With 168,000 Youtube subscribers (www.youtube.com/GabrielZamora) and 269, 000 Instagram followers, and partnerships with Ipsy and Mac cosmetics, Zamora’s star power is quickly rising.

His eyebrow and highlight tutorials are particularly useful for the guy who needs a little more brow power. For drool worthy brows, Zamora recommends Benefit ka-BROW ($32.oo www.sehpora.comin color six. This cream gel brow product works somewhat like a pomade sculpting and filling the brows.

Throughout the fashion, beauty and grooming industries we have seen a sharp increase in personal expression, acceptance and attitude.  Wearing makeup is no longer essentially female, whether it be concealing minor skin imperfections, filling in sparse brows, or using a little foundation for a little complexion perfection. Makeup like everything else has become universal. Continue following our beauty coverage on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Toronto Gets New Dance Studio

From left to right: Aaron Aquino, Aaron Libfeld and Roy Urbanozo. Photo by Sveta Soloveva

Voted the best in Toronto, The Underground’s dance classes are getting a new three-storey studio with a rooftop skylight this summer.

In just about two months, the new Underground Dance Centre will take the space above Yuk Yuk’s comedy club at 224 Richmond St. West, which is only two doors down from the original. Compared to the 3,700 square feet old studio with two rooms, the new space will be around 8,500 square feet with four rooms, including a rooftop with glass windows, which all the teachers are excited about.

“This is the floor I’m going to fight for,” said hip hop teacher Aaron Aquino. “I just want a sunny roof and fresh air coming through.”

Right now, the demolitions are complete and the team is collecting quotes from different contractors and deciding on who will build the new studio, said studio manager Roy Urbanozo.

The Underground Dance Centre gets a rooftop skylight studio this summer. Photo by Sveta Soloveva

The price for a single class increases from $15 to $17 starting May 1st, according to twenty-eight-year owner Aaron Libfeld. He added that still “a competitive price” around the city comes with new values. They are doubling the number of classes from 120 to 240, adding more hours for the teachers, and hiring more dancers to teach new styles. The old studio will continue to operate and customers will be able to use their passes at both locations. 

“Everyone is excited to see the new schedule,” said Libfeld. “There’s going to be a lot more of the popular styles, such as hip hop, dancehall, heels, Beyonce… We gonna have more k-pop and disco theme.”

Libfeld grew up as a competitive dancer, who took ballet, jazz, hip hop, contemporary, and acro at Vlad’s Dance Centre in Richmond Hill. The first thing he is looking for when hiring teachers is their personality. Even though someone is the best dancer in the world and they come with a bad attitude, they are automatically disqualified,” he said.

Excellent dance experience, understanding of the style, and ability to teach are the other requirements.

Photo by Roy Urbanozo

Teachers are not the only ones who create the mood in the studio. There are 20 young volunteers, who help at the front desk and receive free classes in return. Urbanozo will hire about 20 more volunteers to create positive vibes and a loving atmosphere in the new studio. 

Another innovation, prerecorded classes by choreographers from New York and L.A. is coming to the old Underground in just about a week. It’s going to be a unique experience, different from a simple online class, said Libfeld. “Even though they are [following] prerecorded videos, they are in a dance studio, in a dance environment, with other people,” he said. “Online classes are kind of the Netflix, but we wanna be like the Cineplex.”

Technology and social media have been a huge part of The Underground since it opened in 2014. Libfeld, who holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Finance and used to run a technology company at Ryerson’s Digital Media Zone (DMZ), said he applied all those skills to run his dance studio.

It’s very focused on working on the idea, getting feedback on that and continually innovating it,” he said.

Photo by Roy Urbanozo

Videos of every class on its Instagram, which now has almost 80,000 followers, helped the studio attract most of the clients and won the title of the best dance classes in Toronto by blogTO and Yelp within the first six months of opening. The Underground hosted the space for celebrities like Nelly Furtado, who rehearsed at the studio twice during her visit to Toronto.

“It’s exciting to know that we are providing the great content and sharing our love of dance in the world,” said Libfeld.

Both, Libfeld and Urbanozo said they are happy to expand their business, but the new studio is not the end of their vision. They will keep working on the main concept: providing their customers with the best experience. “We do our best because we want them [the customers] to come back. We want them to feel exclusive,” said Urbanozo. “There’s still a lot to learn about the industry and how to treat our customers.”

“We’ll only stop when we have to stop,” said Libfeld. “We are obsessed with the customer experience. For us it’s the worst thing if anyone walks out unhappy. So we make sure that we only hire the best teachers, keep the beautiful facility with professional cleaners every single night. That creates the whole experience which I think is different than anyone else does.”

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