Spring ’17 Beauty Must-Haves

The transition into Spring can be a little awkward. With the weather constantly adjusting and changing, it’s hard to dress and prepare yourself accordingly. Often we are so focused on our wardrobe and making it through the wet spring weather, we forget that our beauty routine needs a little bit of sprucing up as well. The cold, wet mornings and milder damp afternoons can take a toll on your skin and makeup, so it is important to make a few minor changes to your routine and ditch the heavy winter products in exchange for something lighter and more refreshing. Luckily, we’ve been blessed with a relatively mild winter (for the most part) but in case you’re still struggling to make the transition, here are a few products to help you prepare yourself and add an extra hint of spring into your everyday beauty routine!

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser

This do-it-all cleanser successfully removes makeup while also cleansing the skin of impurities without drying it out. The light gel formula is perfect for all skin types. It gently lathers to clean skin while keeping it balanced, firm, and moisturized (it also smells amazing). This cleanser is definitely a must-have.

Available at Sephora.

Marcelle BB Cream Beauty Balm

Spring is all about being fresh faced. This BB cream is the perfect combination of a lightweight moisturizer, tinted corrector, and makeup base. It can be worn alone as a tinted moisturizer or as a base makeup primer. It evens out skin tone, controls shine, and reduces the appearance of imperfections. Perfect lightweight coverage for Spring!

Available at Shoppers Drug Mart or Marcelle.com.

NUDESTIX Lip + Cheek Pencil

This multitasking pencil is ideal for a fresh-faced minimal makeup look, adding the perfect pop of colour to cheeks and lips. The long-lasting creamy coverage gives a natural looking finish to a fresh-faced look. For the ultimate Spring-time look, try the pencil in the shade “coral/peach.”

Available at Sephora.

Too Faced “Better Than Sex” Mascara

I know this may be a bold statement but, this is by far the best mascara ever! Its non-clumpy formula has the best volume, length, and root-to-tip coverage I’ve experienced in a single mascara. For real, one coat of this on your lashes is all you need to complete the perfect natural spring makeup look.

Available at Shoppers Drug Mart and Sephora.

Essie “B’aha Moment” Nail Polish

Nothing like a fresh manicure to add a little extra spring in your step! Essie’s B’aha Moment from the Spring 2017 collection is the perfect pomegranate pink to complete your spring look.

Available at Shoppers Drug Mart.

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Recap: Fashion Week Beauty Trends

Fashion Weeks have come and gone, but we often forget the ingenuity of many designers within the presentation of their lines. A lot of work goes into presenting a product, with specific hair and make-up designs to accompany each model. We have pieced together some of our favourite beauty trends from New York, London, Paris, and Milan Fashion Weeks to inspire you through the coming months and set you on the right track.

NEW YORK FASHION WEEK

                  

COLORFUL CAT-EYE

Perhaps the most talked about beauty trend from NYFW, Prabal Gurung’s monochromatic cat-eye left us reminiscing on the days when we first attempted to recreate scenic visions of model makeup from the catwalk. While Diane Kendal has more precision with her styling, we reminisce on the early days we once spent in front of the mirror, playing with bold colours and patterns, hoping to copy the handiwork of industry professionals. Not only are we obsessed with the shape of this look, we are consumed by hues of sky blue, green, and orange. The models wore sleeked back hairstyles to accentuate this beauty trend. Gurung’s line was inspired by powerful women within his life and emphasized messages such as “We will not be silenced.” Not only did Gurung manage to present an ethereal physical beauty within his Fall 2017 line, he also inspired an inclusiveness and empowerment for women everywhere.                  

 

BOBS, BUZZ, & BOYCUTS

A major trend of New York Fashion week was found through shorter hairstyles ranging from precise bobs to buzz cuts. Alexander Wang beautifully displayed this trend and proved that women can rock boy cuts better than men. This display brought a nostalgia for the early 90’s and proved its timelessness. While long, luxurious hair has certainly been a desired trend for women everywhere, we often forget the power behind a bold, short haircut. For all those inspired to finally take their scissors and complete their long-awaited desire for a shorter do’ — we salute you.

LONDON FASHION WEEK

                   

SMUDGED LIPS

For all the times you have unsuccessfully or incorrectly applied your lipstick, you can now think of it as a style choice, rather than an unfortunate run-in with your applicator. For those who have spent a long night out on the town and caught a glimpse of yourself in the window of the McDonalds you often frequent in the early morning, this is for you. For women who are on-the-go and have daringly applied dark shades of lipstick on a moving subway car, or quickly in the back of a cab before a “chance” run in with your ex and his new boo, this is for you. Preen by Thornton Bregazzi makes “accidental make-up” a way of the future and celebrates cherry red lips with an indirect application.          

BLACK VELVET RIBBON

Emily Wickstead artistically reinvents the black ribbon within a half-up, half-down hair style. Also seen during Marchesa, the black velvet ribbon is a 2017 style trend that we can get behind. A staple to any collection, the ribbon brings a sophistication to a quick and easy hairstyle choice. The ribbon can be used as a ponytail, or, alternatively, it can be restyled as a choker.

PARIS FASHION WEEK

                 

HAIR HEADBANDS

At Issey Miyake, hair is multidimensional, and once you add temporary hair-dye, greatness is achieved through it. Taking inspiration from the Northern Lights, Pecis created a hair headband on his models by adding blue, purple and green hues. This style choice reflects different colours when the model walks the runway as the colour will shift in the light. Our childhood fantasies of having bright, shimmery hair have been envisioned into a precise hairstyle that is as beautiful as it is bold. For those looking for an edge this year, or if you are simply looking for a way to keep your hair out of your eyes, take note.               

FRESH FACE

A major trend throughout all fashion weeks was found in the “no-makeup, make-up look.” MUAs, designers, and models ditched their plentiful products and sought out a more natural, minimalistic canvas on their faces. Lanvin took note of this trend and brilliantly executed a fresh-faced design to his runway. While there are times in which we find solace in our layers of foundation, concealer, contour, and highlight, the “no make-up” trend is telling us to love the skin we are in.

MILAN FASHION WEEK

            

GLITTER LIPS

Gucci inspired an unexpected beauty trend that reinvents the way we see lipstick. Shying away from a staple red or pink lip, Gucci took a step in the right direction by inspiring a dark lip that compliments its Fall 2017 line. With an exaggerated cupid’s bow and an edge of glitter, Gucci makes our gothic dreams to a beautiful reality.

DEEP SIDE PART

Designers like Bottega Veneta and Salvatore Ferragamo took inspiration from a deep side part. Within Veneta’s collection, models were layered with jeweled hair pieces to accompany their perfectly styled hair. This classic hairstyle goes a long way with subtle accessories. Whether you decide to dress it up with an accessory or keep it simple, you can’t go wrong with this hairstyle.

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Barber and Co. Where Precision Meets Style

Barber & Co. Style Kit

TEXT: Alexander Sauve

Handcrafted in Vancouver, Barber & Co. sets the bar high with their superior line of grooming, shaving, and hair care products guaranteed to leave you feeling refreshed, invigorated, and uber-masculine without the visit to your favourite barber.

For the ultimate shaving experience, Barber & Co.’s No.07 Shave Oil ($20) deeply conditions and moisturizes, leaving your skin incredibly smooth and polished. Lightweight but dense, it’s ideal for all skin types and works well for clean-shaven guys and those of the bearded variety.

For the lumberjack set, the No.7 shave oil works well along the beard and moustache line where precision is key. For guys who like to keep their face looking smooth and distinguished, this highly versatile product delivers the goods for an extra close shave every time. The oil preps the face, keeping it free from embarrassing nicks, cuts, and irritation. Use sparingly — due to its density, shave oils require only 3 t0 5 drops for a perfect shave.

Whether you prefer your hairstyle clean-cut or hassle free, Barber & Co.’s No.13 Matte Pomade ($28) guarantees to leave you with James Dean-worthy hair. Wet or dry, this lightly scented rich-in-texture pomade gives hair a strong, natural all-day hold.  To use, work well until the pomade is warm, applying evenly throughout the hair. Moisture-enhancing wax, castor oil and purified water round out its ingredients.

Barber and Co.’s No. 2 Matte Putty ($28) will add depth to the hair while keeping it pliable all day long. Its texture is dense and works well on those pesky flyaways that never seem to keep their place in an otherwise perfect style. Similar to the pomade, work it well until warm and apply evenly throughout wet or dry hair. The putty gives a soft flexible hold and clean, matte finish.

Modern and highly versatile, matte putty will give your hair the desired look and hold without the added weight or oily residue. This product works well on hair of varying lengths, textures, and thicknesses. For the guy on the go, all three products are also available in the I’m Faded Style Kit ($50).

For the bearded guy, Barber & Co. also carries the I’m Faded Beard Kit ($40), guaranteed to keep your beard game up to par. Beard oil keeps your whiskers healthy and conditioned with natural oils and its key ingredients: Argan oil, Jojoba oil, Bergamot orange oil, Rosewood oil, and Vitamin E.

Also included in this convenient grooming bundle is No.12 Beard Balm. Beard balms and waxes work similar to pomades and matte putty’s — they add depth, control, and shine to the hair or beard. Packed with conditioning oils of Shea butter, Argan and Jojoba oil, Himalayan cedarwood oil, Guar gum, and Vitamin E.

Whether your grooming game is laid-back or impeccable to a fault, the company’s line of shaving, beard, and hair care products is guaranteed to give you unbeatable style at a fraction of the cost. It is easier than it has ever been to look your best. So go ahead and leave your mark with Barber and Co.

Barber & Co. full service barbershops can be found throughout the Vancouver area. Their newest location in Toronto — which hides Gift Shop, a warm, full cocktail bar, in the back — is at 89 Ossington Ave. Grooming and hair products can be found online (www.unionofbarbers.com) and in-shop.

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Post-Winter Hydration

I know that February is the shortest month, but it seems that the first two months of 2017 just flew by. And that just means we’re that much more closer to spring! However, during this winter, as with every winter, the moisture-sucking climate has taken a real toll on my already very dry skin. Regardless of skin type, taking care of yourself and staying hydrated is important for everyone. Here are a few tips to get your hair, skin, nails, and everything else feeling lush and rejuvenated for what seems like an early spring.

Photo: borbotta.com

Hair

My hair is very thick and curly so it needs a whole lot of lovin’. Using an olive oil or coconut oil treatment once a week helps restore your damaged, dry hair. It’s important to do this especially if you use hot tools regularly. These oils are good for all hair types. Be sure to read the label to make sure they’re 100% oil — no added nonsense.

When applying, massage the oil into your hair, starting at the ends and working your way up into the scalp. Wait for a minimum of 30 minutes, then make sure to shampoo and rinse at least twice to get all the oil out. Of course, there are other products out there that help with dry and damaged hair — it’s just a matter of finding out what works for you. Our contributor Meg is trying out Curl Shoppe products right now, check out her weekly updates over on our Instagram.

Photo: petapixel.com

Skin

I have reeaaally dry skin, if you didn’t get that already. So I’ve decided not to be so lazy about my skincare (out of necessity) and am now on the lookout for the perfect moisturizer. I’ve been using the tried and true Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief to get rid of any flakiness or tightness on my face (especially under my eyes and around my mouth) before I use the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+. I feel like sometimes face moisturizers can be really thick, leaving you feeling like there’s just a layer of it on top of your skin, clogging your pores. Clinique has a lightweight formula that sinks into my skin and does its job. I also apply grape seed oil on my face every couple of days to help with dry patches. It has no scent and is a non-comedogenic, which means it doesn’t clog pores.

Don’t forget your lips in all of this! I usually just mix a tablespoon of brown sugar — granulated will do fine — with some olive oil or honey. Gently scrub this mixture on your lips and leave it on for a minute, then wash it off with warm water and apply lip balm.

Photo: beautyheaven.com.

Nails

If I don’t take care of my nails, they can get real brittle, especially during winter with the lack of moisture in the air. I apply Vitamin E oil to my fingernails and massage it in, to stimulate blood supply. I also use moisturizing hand creams, often with shea or coconut oil, which also helps with the dry and brittle nail problem. You can also create a soak with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to help strengthen your nails. Olive oil penetrates nail cuticles to repair and strengthen the nail while lemon juice helps restore damage and gives your nails a bright sheen.

You should also use nail polish removers that are “acetone-free.” Granted, it takes more time to remove the polish, but acetone is really drying so it might be worth it.

Photo: womensok.com

Body

Exfoliate, moisturize, repeat. Exfoliation is a major part of skincare and once you get into it, you’ll notice the difference. You can always buy body scrubs from the store but making an all-natural exfoliant is a lot easier than you think — as long as you have sugar in your pantry. Don’t pay an arm and a leg for a trendy coffee scrub. Click here to learn how to make your own using just sugar, coffee, and the leftover coconut oil from your hair treatment.

Your Insides

You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again. Drinking water is the best thing you can do for your body and hydration. It’s good for every external and internal parts of you. Winter increases the risk of dehydration because more moisture is lost through the respiratory evaporation.

Flow Water is 100% natural Canadian spring water and has a naturally high pH, which offsets modern acidic diets, and electrolytes to keep your body more hydrated. Flow also provides healthful properties such as potassium, magnesium, and calcium carbonate. You can pick up a bottle of Flow in your local grocery store, and if you live in Toronto or Vancouver you can order weekly deliveries and have it brought to your doorstep in an eco-friendly BMWi3.

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Graydon Skincare Review

Lately, my top concerns in skincare are the following: moisturizing, damage recovery (i.e. from wearing makeup, sun, harsh acne treatments), and knowing what ingredients are in the products. These are, I believe, essentials for being kind to your skin — especially during the winter when it’s freezing outside with biting winds and mainly cloudy days, and when the sun does come out, it reflects off of everything and blinds you/gives you a weird sunburn.

Winter is downright rude to our faces, and when I had the opportunity to try out some of Graydon’s luxury skincare products, I was looking for things that would combat the harsh elements. Every product I tried was not only super moisturizing and luxurious, but also made with plant-base in mind.

Here’s the low-down on Graydon Skincare: the (Canadian!) brand was started by Graydon — I’m aways surprised when this happens even though I know the name has to come from somewhere — and founded on the philosophy that effective and nourishing skincare products can be made from “plant-powered” ingredients, sometimes things you might even eat, such as berries, avocado, and broccoli.

I’ve definitely used a home-made avocado and honey face mask before, so the idea of using natural ingredients on the face is not a new one to me, but I was curious about a brand that seems so committed to it.

The ones I was able to get my hands on are: the Keto Cleanse, Berry Rich Cream, Aloe Milk Cleanser and  All-Over Elixir. After three weeks of using these products, I can say I was wholly impressed by their quality and the effect they had on my skin — keeping it soft and moisturized even when it feels like the entire world outside is drying out and freezing up.

But let’s go into a more thorough breakdown of the products. Keep in mind I did use all of these together and created a nighttime routine out of the process, but I’m sure the products could all be used on their own depending what you’re looking for.

Keto Cleanse

Key ingredients: coconut oil and ghee.

The Keto Cleanse was definitely the most interesting product for me, but not my favourite. Of course, I’ve seen the micellar water cleansers and whatnot on the market: one-step makeup and dirt removers that can simply be massaged into the skin. The Keto is different from those products because it does recommend using a cleanser afterwards, but it also promises to get rid of makeup and grime on your face from the day. The label recommends using one drop of the product on the entire face, which I did every night.

I will say that for the amount of makeup I wear, using a different makeup remover for my mascara was necessary, but the Keto drew all of the foundation out of my skin no problem. It smells like coconut and wears like an oil. Not an unpleasant experience, and it’s nice to feel like you’re putting moisture back into the face when you take off your makeup.

The product comes in a small bottle, but even after using it every night for weeks, I didn’t make much of a dent as very little is needed to cover the entire face. This is a great product for anyone who needs that extra cleansing step in their routine.

Aloe Milk Cleanser

Key ingredients: aloe vera, rosemary extract, vitamin oil, grapefruit oil.

The Aloe Milk Cleanser might be the favourite product that I tried. It’s just really pleasant to use. That sounds weird, but it’s the best way I can describe it. Pleasant because it has a very subtle scent, which I prefer in cleansers, and it feels cleansing without feeling drying. Your skin doesn’t have the supercharged clean feeling you might get from an Oxy cleanser, but it also doesn’t feel like you need to dunk your head in olive oil for ten minutes after using it.

What I liked the most about this cleanser was how gentle it was on the skin. Not to say it isn’t effective — it was able to remove any oil left over from the Keto Cleanse — but it didn’t irritate my skin, which has a love/hate relationship with most cleaners.

All-Over Elixir

Key ingredients: sunflower oil, rice bran oil, camelina seed oil, grapeseed oil.

The elixir is a good product and that’s where I’ll leave it. It’s good. It does everything it says it will: it hydrates the skin and doubles as a pretty nice aromatic massage for the face and neck. With chamomile and sandalwood elements, it smells like a massage parlour, and I mean that in the best possible way.

After putting on the elixir, my skin was always left feeling super moisturized and glow-y — and a little oily, but that was always absorbed by the skin. Here’s where I run into a slight problem. The elixir may have caused my skin to break out, but that’s difficult to confirm. Due to the fact that the elixir is made with plant oils, it’s definitely possible, as my skin got a little shinier and I had a slight increase in number of pimples. This could also have been caused by a number of factors such as stress or hormones, so I have yet to confirm causation.

Even though the products are recommended for all skin types, I will say, if you have acne-prone skin like mine, maybe give the elixir a small test run before using it on the entire face. If you have dry skin, then this bad boy is about to become your holy grail.

Berry Rich Face + Eye Cream

Key ingredients: strawberry fruit water, yoghurt extract, jojoba seed oil, cranberry, blueberry and raspberry seed oil.

In terms of moisturizers, my criteria are as follows: I want my face moisturized without being clogged and I want it to smell good. That’s right, I want my face to smell good, mainly because I’ve had lotions on before where I didn’t like the scent and it drove me nuts.

First of all, Berry Rich cream smells like berries, which is just fantastic. In terms of its moisture capabilities, I was really impressed with it. The cream feels thin when you have it on your fingers, but it leaves the skin soft and smooth. In the name of science, I tried it without using the elixir first and was just as impressed with how light it felt while also effectively moisturizing the skin. The cream also works for the under-eye areas, which was a bonus as I am unfortunately already thinking about that area of skincare. But I mean, anytime is a good time to start, right?

You can learn more about Graydon and find their products here.

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