The weather has been very tricky lately, and  it doesn’t know if it prefers to be warm or chilly. It is leaving us feeling confused and always guessing Mother Natures next move. Even though this week’s weather forecast was a complete 180, you can never be too prepared for the fall weather. This season is loved by so many people. They get excited to shop for cozy sweaters, lighting the heavenly scent of autumn candles, and for the Starbucks lover, sipping on a Pumpkin Spice Latte. But with the chilliness slowly creeping in, we tend to neglect one important factor—our skin. A colder season equals to dryer, frailer skin. If you want to continue having that beautiful summer time glow, take a look at these products.

Photo Credit: Giant Tiger
Photo Credit: Giant Tiger

Beautiful skin starts from the moment you step into the shower. You need to make sure you are using a proper, hydrating body wash, to help retain the moisture in your skin. Giant Tiger has recently introduced their in-house beauty line, Ditto. These products are fantastic especially if you are on a budget. The Ditto Deep Moisturizing Body Wash, is combined with natural oils and cleansing properties to combat dry skin. It will leave you feeling hydrated and moisturized.

Where To Buy: Giant Tiger -$4.27

Photo Credit: Giant Tiger
Photo Credit: Giant Tiger

It is always mandatory to use a good moisturizer once you are out of the shower. Even though the body wash is extra hydrating, you need a product that will lock and seal in that moisture for the rest of your day. It will prevent your skin from getting dry and flaky. The Ditto Dry Skin Body Lotion, will leave your skin feeling soft and replenished. The subtle scent is also very gentle and will not cause any irritation to yourself, or anyone around you.

Where To Buy: Giant Tiger -$4.97

Photo Credit: Sephora
Photo Credit: Sephora

When it comes to our skin, it is always great to exfoliate. Exfoliating rids away dead skin cells that have been sitting on the surface of our face and body. To kill of these cells and give your skin a smoother surface, try the Peter Thomas Ross, Pumpkin Enzyme Mask. This three-in-one mask is a skin resurfacer that exfoliates with the pumpkin enzymes, peels with alpha hydroxy, and polishes the skin with aluminum oxide. Using this facial treatment will be like having your own personal dermatologist right at home.

Where To Buy: Sephora -$58.00

Photo Credit: Indeed Laboratories
Photo Credit: Indeed Laboratories

This last product is strictly for the face, and would make great use, once you are finished with your exfoliating mask. Facial masks can sometimes leave the skin feeling dry, and it is always best to plop on a moisturizer right after. On September 1st, the Indeed Laboratories launched their Fillume Volumising Serum and Moisturiser. When using the serum, it will give the skin a firmer more youthful look. Its goal is to also target facial volume loss, to leave the skin looking plumper. The moisturizer is used to increase hydration in the skin, and also helps erase shadows, giving the skin a more radiant glow. When used together, you will notice a gradual improvement in the look, tone,and texture of your skin.

Where To Buy: Shoppers Drug Mart -Serum $29.99 Moisturizer $24.99

Novellahoods: A tour of the Upper Beaches

After over three years of living in Toronto, I feel like I’m pretty savvy when it comes to getting around the heart of the city. But being a west-ender, I’ve never really had many opportunities to cross over to the far-eastern side of Toronto. This whole time, the DVP has seemed to me like the Great Wall of China. What the hell is on the other side? I imagined tumbleweeds. Or maybe factories, or subdivisions for as far as they eye could see. It was all very mysterious.

But last night I finally got the chance to explore the Great Unknown that lies beyond the Don Valley: the neighbourbood of the Upper Beaches. ~TRUMPET SOUNDS~

Streetcar Developments hosted the tour — they’re the guys who build snazzy living spaces all over the city, condominiums that promote a tight-knit community amongst residents and within their neighbourhoods. It’s a really nice company who does really nice work, and their most recent project, The Southwood, is going to continue that track record right in the heart of the Upper Beaches.


Our tour began at the sales office for The Southwood, where some bubbly was poured and we were introduced to the concept for the condominium, which will be ready for occupancy in spring 2017. Chatting with one of the Streetcar reps, I found out that they’re building on the Upper Beaches turf because the neighbourhood is gaining a lot of momentum — especially amongst the city’s young professionals.

RoFo? Is that u?

After downing my champagne and deciding to start saving up for one of The Southwood’s south-facing one-bedrooms (SO. PRETTY.), our tour led us out of the sales office and we headed east down Kingston Road, the main street where all the magic happens.


Yellow House was our next stop, a charming little gallery-slash-framing studio owned and operated by an OCAD grad. Within seconds of talking to her I realized there’s a huge artistic presence in this pocket of the city, and gazing at the walls of her gallery I took in some pretty incredible work. I made a mental note to take my next artistic excursion out this way.

Up next was The Art of Cheese. This place really gave me a feel of how tight-knit the Upper Beaches community is. The owner, Bill Miller (a.k.a. “The Grand Fromage”) is a retiree who opened this tiny shop as his passion project, and he could talk for literally hours about the magic of cheese. After feeding us some beautiful San De Oro cheese and local red wine (I nearly died of happiness in this moment) he divulged all the secrets of his craft. Like, the mind-blowing fact that cheese is supposed to be eaten at room temperature — if it’s too cold, you’re only tasting 40% of its flavour. (WHAAAAT.)

The Grand Fromage in his element

After being charmed by Bill and his cheese (and his fromage-shaped foam hat), we headed to our next stop: Collected Joy. This beautiful odds-and-ends boutique is owned by Sharon Smyl, a former marketing director who worked with Minto Group and Starbucks. She lives right around the corner from the shop, and most of the brands she carries are local.


I adored Collected Joy. Sharon kept describing things as “exquisite” and I was just in awe of her style. Maybe I’ll get her to design my new condo at The Southwood. One day…

Second-last stop was at The Stone Pizza, where my fellow media people and I had an impromptu pizza photo shoot. The pies were, as Sharon would say, exquisite. Who would have thought to put apple slices on a pizza? And who would have thought it would taste SO GOOD?


Finally, we found ourselves at The Beech Tree restaurant and bar. This cosy, beautifully decorated spot is like the “Cheers” of the Upper Beach. The owner, like a lot of the shop owners in the area, used to work at a desk crunching numbers all day and abandoned that job to pursue his passion. The Beech Tree blew me away — literally everything is made in-house. Not one ingredient enters the store in a bottle or package. The mayonnaise, the syrups, everything is handcrafted from scratch in their little kitchen. Swoon. Oh, and the gnocchi can attest to the quality. I was almost reduced to tears while eating this. In a very good way.

(I couldn’t get a good photo of the gnocchi because it was dim and my photography skills are not on point)

On the walk to our ride home, we were pleasantly surprised by one final Upper Beaches experience. Farmacia Juice Bar‘s tiny cooler-on-wheels rolled up to the sidewalk and served up some scrumptious house-made juices, smoothies and freezies. As if I hadn’t fallen in love with the neighbourhood already, the owner told us that a few weeks prior, when their cart was stolen, the community banded together to find it and bring it back. It’s like the whole Upper Beaches ‘hood is #squadgoals.

So, my dear west-of-the-DVP-ers, here is my advice to you: if you’re getting bored of downtown and want to make a little escape from the city without going too far, go to the Upper Beaches. It’s not as swanky-snotty as the — er, Lower Beaches? — but it’s equally as beautiful and full of boutiques that will steal your heart. I’d live here. And maybe one day I will. I mean, who wouldn’t want to live in a charming small town that’s hidden in a huge city?


Summertime is about looking and feeling great. Women are usually busy working on their summer bodies two seasons before, making sure they look banging once the sun comes out. But of course you can’t revamp and sculpt something without maintaining it on a daily basis. If you want to continue looking amazing for the entire season, here are a few beauty essentials that will have your skin and hair feeling like a breath of fresh air.

Diorskin Nude Foundation

Photo Credit: Sephora
Photo Credit: Sephora

A light foundation is the way to go this season, especially with this blazing heat. Instead of layering on a thick, heavy foundation, try a lighter method. The Diorskin Nude Foundation is a nice lightweight base. It has excellent coverage, with s soft formula and faint scent. For the protection of your skin, it has also been instilled with SPF 15, because those heavy sunrays can be gruesome.

Clean and Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets

Photo Credit: Walmart Canada
Photo Credit: Walmart Canada

Another absolute must this summer is the Clean and Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets. These light, airy blue sheets are exactly what anyone needs to sweep off any sweat or oil that have settled on the face. It instantly diminishes any trace of oiliness, and a plus for the ladies: it does not wipe off any trace of makeup.

Neutrogena Sport Face Oil-Free Sunscreen

Photo Credit: Neutrogena
Photo Credit: Neutrogena

Sunscreen is crucial. Dermatologists say that sunscreen should be worn all year round to protect our skin from damage that can occur from UV rays. A top recommended sunscreen is the Neutrogena Sport Face Oil-Free Sunscreen. It is very lightweight cream, unlike most sunscreens on the market, and it doesn’t leave any white, greasy residue. This particular sunscreen was also recommended by the Skin and Cancer Foundation of Australia and comes as high as SPF 70.

Lemon Drop EOS Balm

Photo Credit: Walmart Canada
Photo Credit: Walmart Canada

An often neglected part of a person’s face are the lips. With celebrities nowadays setting the trend of fuller, plumper lips, the first step to getting on their level is keeping yours nicely moisturized. Believe it or not, but our lips need to be protected with SPF as well. It prevents them from drying out and becoming cracked or flaky. To avoid suffering from chapped lips, try the Lemon Drop EOS Balm with SPF 15, for long lasting hydration and a delicious flavour.

Mr. Shu Uemura Four Step System

Photo Credit: Mr. Shu Uemura
Photo Credit: Mr. Shu Uemura

Whether you have long, flowing locks, a short pixie cut, or cute kinky coils, you’ll want to keep your hair nicely hydrated this summer. The best way to achieve healthy, glowing hair is with the Mr. Shu Uemura four-step system. It comes with an Essence Absolue Oil that nourishes and protects hair from dryness, frizz and UV damage. The Cleansing Oil Shampoo, which is paraben- and silicone-free, is beneficial for all hair types. The formula is also lightweight and respects the balance of the scalp. The third product of the system is the Shape Paste. This particular paste texturizes and defines styles, giving you a long-lasting hold for the day. And last, but certainly not least: the Ample Angora. This foam moisturizer is similar to using a hairspray. With its enriched buds of Japanese cedar, it will give your hair body, volume and won’t leave any white residue on the hair, since it instantly melts within contact of your beautiful tresses.


Why Your Skin Needs A BioAffinity Tonic



In this sweltering Summer heat, we all could use a natural and handy way to refresh our skin. Pai Skincare’s Lotus & Orange Blossum BioAffinity Skin Tonic hydrates and protects dry or sensitive skin with just a spritz. The tonic even works over and under makeup

From your desk, to bathroom, at the beach or even from your seat on a plane, this 100% Alcohol-free, vitamin and amino-acid rich formula will keep you looking and feeling fresh wherever you may be.

Pai Skincare founder Sarah Brown was inspired to create a natural skin care range after years of suffering from a bad skin allergy. Her goal was to create the cleanest plant-based skin care on the market, with a range of products formulated for people with very sensitive skin.

To purchase this tonic and learn more about the full range of products, please visit Pai Skincare website here

Novellahoods: Amanda’s Guide to Dundas and Ossington

This Novellahood is my hood. Ossington is a strip of pure hipster madness, which has its ups and downs (the pretentiousness is real, but so are interesting bar concepts and cool boutiques), but if there’s one thing you can count on here, it’s that you’ll never experience a dull moment in this corner of the city. Spend a day, spend a night, and have a blasty-blast with the help of my personal guide to Dundas and Ossington!

CAFFEINATE: Sam James Coffee Bar

As a connoisseur of mochas, I can attest that Sam James’ mocha is the absolute best in the whole wide city. The recipe (which I won’t disclose here) is so simple, but so genius. TRY IT. Hot or iced. Of course, everything else they make here is perfect, too, from the lattes to the conversation.

Sam James' iced mocha — image via @samjamescoffeebar on Instagram
Sam James’ iced mocha — image via @samjamescoffeebar on Instagram

EAT: The Lakeview

This diner has been here for so long I’m pretty sure it qualifies as a historic site. I love this place because it has that classic diner feel without being too gritty, the food is good and nicely priced, and they have MAD drink specials ($4 mimosas, all day, every day!). They’re also open 24 hours, so feel free to come here for a burger in the middle of a drunken night.

PLAY: Get Well

If any of my friends ever have a birthday, it is celebrated here. Why? Because Get Well is not only a bar, but it’s also an arcade and has an in-house North of Brooklyn Pizzeria. Most of the vintage arcade games are free to play, so you can challenge yourself to a game of Dig Dug with a drink in one hand and a slice of pepperoni pizza in the other.

Photo via whyilovetoronto.tumblr.com
Get Well — image via whyilovetoronto.tumblr.com

SHOP: Red Canoe

Being inside this Canadiana shop feels like chanting Oh Canada and drinking maple syrup while riding a moose that’s wearing a Mountie uniform. Check it out if you want to bring home some cool, all-Canadian stuff.

WATCH: Lower Ossington Theatre

‘Tis the season for play-watching, and this theatre has all your nostalgia planned out for the summer: buy your tickets to Rocket Man: The Music of Elton John, Always Abba, Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, Mary Poppins and other gems.

SHOP: Victoire Boutique

The shop window displays are always so cute, it’s nearly impossible not to step inside this tiny shop. They sell the perfect blend of girly-girl and hip, and the clothes never lack in both imagination and sophistication. Find your next wedding season dress here, or a punchy statement piece for your summer festival-going.

Victoire Boutique — image via victoireboutique.com
Victoire Boutique — image via victoireboutique.com

DRINK: Bellwoods Brewery

This is a Dundas and Ossington go-to. Even if you’re not a fan of beer, Bellwoods Brewery is always a good time. I personally love this place because on holidays, when the LCBO and Wine Rack are closed, Bellwoods is usually open, and my drinking plans are saved.