Natural Beauty with Elly Mayday

Source: Forever Yours Lingere

Two years ago, model and social media personality Elly Mayday moved from her hometown of Aylesbury, Saskatchewan, to pursue dreams of traveling the world. She was on the verge of a successful modeling career when a diagnosis of stage-three ovarian cancer and subsequent treatments changed everything.

Mayday experienced many physical and emotional challenges, but she was able to use her illness as a platform to speak about the power of natural beauty and self-acceptance all over the world.

I wanted to show you can be beautiful when you are going through hell…” Mayday says on her website, “I worked really hard on all my shoots because I knew I was doing something that would help others facing cancer as well.”  

Mayday’s determination to embody self-confidence and body-positivity even during the throes of chemotherapy catapulted her into international fame. Since then, she has been featured on Good Morning America, in Women’s Weekly Australia, in documentary-film “A Perfect 14,” and has modeled for Lane Bryant’s “I’m no Angel” campaign.

One unexpected thing that had to change during her treatment, says Mayday, was her beauty routine.

Source: Elly Mayday Official Website

I had liked to do my hair,” she says, ”but when I lost it, I had my wigs… I stopped getting my nails done, [because] I would get sick from all the fumes involved in the process and couldn’t keep them on if I had an operation.”

Mayday’s heightened sensitivity to smells and chemicals found in everyday cosmetics led her to seek out natural alternatives for her favourite beauty products. “I started to do a bit of research and realized there were so many unpronounceable ingredients in something as simple as makeup remover,” she says, “I have some close friends in the all-natural, clean-eating world and knew going that route would be better for me.”

According to a research survey conducted by the David Suzuki Association, 80% of beauty products possessed by participants contained at least one of twelve “dirty dozen” ingredients shown to have potentially harmful effects on the body. For some individuals, exposure to these ingredients can cause very serious health problems.

Consumers are advised by health experts to read cosmetic labels and steer clear of toxic ingredients (such as BHA, PEGs, parabens, parfum, petrolatum, sulfates and triclosan) that can be found lurking in many common cosmetic  and beauty products.

For those wishing to try natural alternatives, Elly recommends her following top five favourite all-natural beauty items:

1. Coconut Oil.

I use this for my makeup remover and moisturizer. I like it because it’s available everywhere, travels easily and you can pre-soak cotton swabs for when you’re  on-the-go.”

2. Aluminum-free Deodorant.

“I use Green Beaver Natural Deodorant.”

3. Lia Reese Lipsticks. 

“These are allergy-tested, hypoallergenic, not tested on animals and fragrance free. They have great pigment and last all day, plus have a subtle scent of vanilla. There are a ton of options for colors and I like to support Canadian-owned companies.”

4. Taproot Organics Cocoa Face Bar. 

“I use this as my face wash. If I’ve forgotten my coconut oil, I have no problem getting my makeup off just using this. It lathers well and gets the job done, and it’s mainly made out of oils that don’t dry my skin out afterwards like a regular bar soap. “

5. Activated Charcoal.

“I use this for a face mask as well as teeth whitener.”

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DIY Beauty Hacks

With so many parties to attend, relatives to see, and pictures being taken during the madness of the holiday season, everyone wants to make sure they look their best. But let’s be honest, who really has time for a day at the salon or spa to unwind in and prepare themselves for the chaos? Instead, here is a list of DIY beauty hack recipes that will help get you looking and feeling holiday-ready without taking another trip out of the house.

Clarifying Hair Rinse (with Apple Cider Vinegar)

I’m sure you’ve heard of the apple cider vinegar cleansing trick but it is not a myth, it really does work wonders. This hair rinse takes away product buildup and leaves your hair and scalp feeling refreshed and clean.

  1. Fill a squirt bottle half way with apple cider vinegar, and the other half with room temperature water.
  2. Wash your hair with shampoo once to remove some of the initial dirt and oil build up.
  3. After rinsing out the shampoo, use the spray bottle filled with the apple cider vinegar and water solution, and spray directly onto the roots of your hair. Make sure to cover your entire scalp thoroughly.
  4. Gently massage the solution into your scalp, and let it sit for a few minutes.
  5. Rinse, and lightly shampoo again before conditioning.

Body Scrub (with Coffee, Coconut Oil, and Sugar)

The coffee body scrub craze was a hit this year. I was given a brand name coffee scrub as a gift and I really enjoyed it, so I looked up the ingredients and realized I was totally capable of making one for myself at home. Sugar is a great exfoliator and natural healer. That’s why sugaring is said to be better for your skin than waxing. It can also be great for preventing and healing ingrown hairs. The caffeine in coffee is said to help reduce cellulite and stretch marks by increasing blood flow and tightening and providing antioxidants to the skin.

  1. Find a reusable storage container of some kind (i.e. a tupperware container or a jar).
  2. Combine 1 cup of ground coffee, 1 cup of raw or brown sugar (I’ve tried and liked both), and 1/2 a cup of coconut oil in a mixing bowl.
  3. Mix well and transfer into the storage container of your choice.
  4. Rub onto damp skin after cleansing, focusing on troubled areas with stretch marks and cellulite if necessary.
  5. Leave on for 2-5 mins, and rinse off.

Facial Toner (with Apple Cider Vinegar)

If you already have a toner you like, put it aside for a day and give this a chance. For those of you who don’t use toners, this will absolutely make you want to start.

  1. Find a reusable makeup or toiletry bottle of some kind (I use an empty Rimmel eye makeup remover bottle).
  2. Fill about half of the bottle with apple cider vinegar, and the other half with filtered, room-temperature water. If you have dry skin, and you have any facial oil laying around (I use the Fresh Seaberry Facial Oil), I recommend adding a few drops into the bottle before shaking the mixture up.
  3. Apply the solution after cleansing your face as you would with a store-bought toner. Moisturize as usual. You may not see or feel immediate results, but after a day you’ll notice your skin looking and feeling cleaner, smoother, and moisturized.

Teeth Whitener (with Tumeric and Coconut Oil)

This may seem crazy and, trust me, I was skeptical at first too. Turmeric is antiseptic, abrasive, and great for oral health and dental pain. While coconut oil cleanses your teeth, cures bad breath, kills bacteria, and eliminates plaque. This is a great, safe, and natural way to whiten your teeth without harming your enamel. It will blow your mind, seriously.

  1. Once again, find a reusable storage container of some kind, or a small bowl that you can cover with plastic wrap because I don’t typically use the entire batch in one use.
  2. Mix a tbsp of coconut oil with a tsp of turmeric until it is a bright orange/yellow paste.
  3. Start brushing teeth with the coconut oil and turmeric paste, don’t be scared! (FYI this will stain your toothbrush, so I recommend using a separate toothbrush to apply the mixture).
  4. Leave it on your teeth for 5 mins.
  5. Spit, rinse and brush your teeth with regular toothpaste.

Lip Scrub (with Sugar and Oil)

With winter comes dry and chapped lips and nothing is worse than wearing lipstick with peeling and cracked lips. For smooth and hydrated lips this holiday season, give your lips some love and pampering.

  1. Similar to the teeth whitening mixture and body scrub, I do not typically use the entire batch in one use, so find a container that can be covered.
  2. Mix 2-3 tbsp of plain white sugar (depending on how coarse you want the scrub to be) with 1 tbsp of either coconut oil or olive oil (whichever you prefer).
  3. If you want to make it taste a little sweeter, add 1 tsp of vanilla and/or honey.
  4. Use your finger to scrub lips with the mixture.
  5. Once lips feel smooth and ready, rinse off (or eat) the excess, and moisturize with Vaseline or your favourite chap stick.

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Holiday Beauty Gift Guide 2016

Christmas will officially be upon us in only a few short weeks, so it’s crunch time if you haven’t already put a dent in your holiday shopping. Everyone needs a little help when it comes to gift giving. If you’re unsure what to get the beauty guru and makeup junkies on your shopping list, have no fear, Novella is here to help. From makeup to skin care, to scents and body treatments, we’ve got gift or stocking stuffer ideas for everyone on your list. These treasures are sure to please the beauties in your life.

Mèreadesso Clear/Tinted Lip Treats


These are an awesome gift for someone who loves lip colour and chap sticks. Not only are they lightweight, but they are also a great primer for any lipstick, gloss, or liner. Plus, they’re perfect for the winter because they are super moisturizing! Can someone say mistletoe?

Available at Nordstrom: $28

Laura Mercier Translucent Powder


This powder is the holy grail in the world of beauty bloggers. If the YouTube beauty guru in your life doesn’t already have this, it’s the gift that will make their Christmas.

Available at Sephora: $47

The Good Bar Soap “Goodie Bag”


This little bag of body treats contains the perfect variety of soaps and body care to give your special someone the chance to dabble in a variety of Good Bar Soap products (so they can pick their favourite). Not only are The Good Bar’s soaps handcrafted, and all-natural, but they are also made in Toronto.

Available at The Cure Apothecary in Toronto or at $12

L’aromatica perfume “Dapper” Eau de Toilette


This is the ideal gift for the tomboy in your life who doesn’t necessarily wear a lot of makeup or use a lot of beauty products. This unisex scent is one of L’aromatica’s most popular. This fragrance is masculine, woodsy, and spicy, but sexy nonetheless.

Since it is made from alcohol in Oregon, it can’t be shipped to Canada. However, you can find it at The Cure Apothecary in Toronto: $30

Doe Hair Pact “Bora Bora” hair mask


For the person that is always colouring and changing their hair, gift them with this moisturizing mini escape. The “Bora Bora” hair pact mask contains coconut and avocado oil and is meant to nourish the driest and dullest of hair. Plus, it smells like a mini vacation.

Available at The Cure Apothecary in Toronto, Urban Outfitters, or $17

Kunye Nourish Face Mask


Known as the “green smoothie for your face, this organic vegan face mask is perfect for the health conscious, all natural, beauty lover. Its gentle formula combined with wheatgrass, neem, spirulina, sea kelp, and Canadian bentonite clay is great for all skin types.

Available at The Cure Apothecary in Toronto or $38

L’Oreal Telescopic mascara


I know drugstore mascara seems like a rather unconventional gift for the holidays, but mascara is arguably one of the most important items in any girl’s makeup bag. This mascara is the gift that keeps on giving, but without the scary price tag.

Available at Shoppers Drug Mart: $15

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Step-by-Step Fall Skin Care with Province Apothecary

Photo: Province Apothecary

Dehydrated skin and dull complexions await with the coming of cooler months. We partnered with Province Apothecary, Canada’s leading green beauty line to bring you some fall skin care tips. Labeled proudly as “Wildcrafted Canadian Beauty,” it’s safe to say their whole-body approach to beauty and skin healing is apparent in the formulation process and beyond. Organic ingredients are hand-picked from Canadian provinces, and blended locally in Toronto in their very own apothecary. Their secret to creating the purest botanical bottles of goodness? It’s made with love through founder Julie Clark’s personal struggles with sensitive skin, and complimented by her ever-evolving research as a Holistic Health Practitioner and Aromatherapist.

The Basic Daily Essential Kit is packed with key products to get you through a simple skin care regimen this Fall: a cleanser that doubles as a makeup remover, an exfoliator, and a serum. Holistic aesthetician and skin care guru Sarah Darby suggests that we pay close attention to nourishing and rebalancing the skin to combat extensive exposure out in the cold.



Great for all skin types, this cleanser / make up remover is perfect for balancing your skin’s oil production. Oil cleansing is known for its ability to decongest, balance pH levels, and keep over-production of sebum at bay. It’s important to cleanse first thing in the morning as well as before bed- our skin regenerates and detoxifies overnight, so we naturally perspire. Cleanse in the morning to start fresh with a blank canvas before you moisturize and apply SPF to shield- all year round. This cleanser made at Province Apothecary is filled with avocado and raspberry seed oils, which are vitamin and essential fatty acid boosters. Transition skincare into fall can be made so simple if you feed your skin with the nutrients it craves.



It’s normal to experience dryness and flakiness in the fall season with natural loss in moisture. Use a gentle exfoliator to keep your complexion glowing- Province Apothecary’s dry formula can be cocktailed with the moisturizing cleanser and used as a super effective exfoliator 2-3 times a week. It’s derived from oatmeal and lentil flour, which work to hydrate the skin while lavender and green tea help calm and revitalize for a perfect glow. The best part about this dry formula? You can choose to cocktail it with water, yogurt, serum, or honey- depending on your skin type and concerns.



One of the main concerns throughout fall / winter is dull skin, tired from the effects of central heat, and the harsher external environment. Oils can save our skin from the cooler months as they are able to penetrate on a deeper cellular level and help to nourish new skin cells from bottom-up. Consistent morning and night use will tackle dehydration, with support from antioxidants and anti-inflammatory oils. Massage the serum for a good 10-15 seconds for full absorption and let it sink in for another 5-10 minutes before applying moisturizer.

Visit to shop their line and learn about their treatments. You can get a custom serum made with an appointment!

Instagram: @provinceapothecary