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.

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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LAB SERIES: The Science Behind A Great looking Complexion

TEXT: Alexander Sauve

Regardless if you’re a man or a woman, skin changes happen and it’s important to be ready for them. LAB SERIES, an Estée Lauder brand, introduced a new line of men’s grooming products guaranteed to change the way you take care of your skin. Incorporating these five essential skincare products will help to recharge, brighten, and energize your skin for decades to come.

Wash it Up: Clean and Clear

Whether your skin type is dry, oily, or a combination of the two, adding a high-performance face wash is essential for a clean and healthy looking complexion. This multifunctional All-In-One Face Cleansing Gel ($18) deeply cleans, refreshes and balances the complexion without over-drying or irritating the skin. This product also works well for guys with facial hair due to its rich and clean lather. Use morning and night for optimum results.

Moisture Lock

If you haven’t been introduced to the extreme hydrating benefits of a Solid Water Essence ($47) you’re seriously missing out. This bamboo and ginseng infused ingredient powerhouse helps to maintain the moisture and structural balance in the skin and is an innovation in men’s skincare. Use directly after cleansing for best results. Follow with your favorite LAB SERIES products to complete the regimen.

Recharged Now for Later

As we age, our skin becomes drier and less resilient, making it prone to wrinkles and unsightly sagging. Treat a dry and aging complexion with a Water-Charged Gel Cream ($50). This deeply hydrating, lightly scented gel cream maintains the moisture balance in the skin while protecting it against further signs of aging. Apply to the face and neck twice daily for optimum results.

Future Rescue and Repair

If you’re looking for an intense burst of hydration, look no further than Future Rescue Repair Serum ($60). Facial serums are well known for their high-quality ingredients and their ability to repair and benefit the skin. Brightness and skin vitality is restored. Highly concentrated to protect against environmental pollutants, stressors, and aging skin. Use twice daily for optimum results.

Intensely Hydrate

This All-In-One Face Hydrating Gel ($30) gently nourishes and cools the skin while protecting it against further signs of aging and environmental damage. This unique and multifaceted hydrating gel deeply moisturizes the complexion without leaving an oily or heavy residue. Light in texture, it dries with a smooth matte finish and is suitable for all skin types. Use as often as needed for the best results.

LAB SERIES products can be found online and in stores. Visit their website here for the nearest store near you. Continue following our health & lifestyle coverage on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

7 Deadly Skincare Sins Men Make

TEXT: Peter Minkoff

The standard of male beauty today can be best described as rugged and bearded. But that does not mean that you are allowed to commit skincare sins. Achieving the perfect rugged look requires a lot of work and taking care of your skin will pay off tenfold in the future. We are all guilty of committing a few skincare sins, but the time to start taking better care of our skin and ourselves is now! Keep reading if you want to make sure you never sin again.

Not using SPF

Everybody loves having a great tan, but the costs of getting one can be too great. We are all well aware of the harmful effects sun rays have on our skin, but somehow that golden glow you get after spending an afternoon in the sun seems to be too enticing. No one can deny that tanned skin looks amazing; you can achieve that and still stay safe if you use a great sunscreen. Sunrays affect your skin even during cloudy days and winter, so applying sunscreen to your face should be a part of your year-round morning routine. Also, you should protect your entire body if you’re going to be exposed to sunrays for a longer period of time or if you are planning to go sunbathing.

Going to tanning salons

If there is one thing worse than exposing your unprotected skin to the sun, it is regularly visiting a tanning salon. Spending ten minutes in a tanning bed is equal to spending a whole day in the sun unprotected. Every time you lie in that bed, you increase the risks of getting skin cancer and making your skin look older. There are no excuses for visiting tanning salons, so stop it right now. If you do need to get some tan, there are great self-tanners available today which are way less harmful.

Not drinking enough water

I know what it sounds like, but hear me out. Fifty to seventy percent of our bodies is made up of water, so it is essential if we want our bodies to function properly. Drinking enough water prevents dehydration and cleanses our bodies of toxins. Water also hydrates our skin, making it look soft and glowy. It is also essential for proper skincare. Start your every day with a big glass of water, and make sure you drink at least six more glasses before you go to bed. You will notice a big difference in a few weeks.

Ignoring the signs of aging

There are many factors that affect our skin and its aging. However, ignoring the signs of aging is probably even worse than exposing our skins to those harmful factors. If you notice any signs of aging think about the factors that might have contributed to it and try eliminating them from your life. Unfortunately, when the damage is already done there is not much you can do but you still have options. Getting anti-aging skincare, for example; some of the Aspect products are a great way to counteract the damage your skin suffered. It is effective with great results and is rising in popularity fast.

Not getting enough sleep

Lack of sleep leads to stress and it can affect our skin in different ways — from bags under your eyes to acne, the effects are bad. On average, people need about eight hours of sleep a night. However, if you are constantly feeling tired during the day and are having problems waking up, you are not sleeping enough. Try going to bed earlier or taking naps during the day if that works better for you.

Smoking

Smoking is out, but if you are still holding on, it is time to let it go. Smoking is bad for your overall health and it is bad for your skin; it reduces the blood flow to the skin, causes wrinkles, and makes the skin look lifeless. Smoking adds years to your face — quit and rejuvenate yourself.

Using the wrong product

Using a bar of soap and water is not taking care of your skin. Determine your skin type and get the appropriate products to clean and moisturize it because they won’t irritate your skin. If you are not sure what to get, ask the shop clerk to help you out or you can even try a few samples before making a decision. Just do it as soon as possible.

Peter Minkoff is a men’s lifestyle writer at Gentleman Zone & Men-Ual magazine from the U.K.. Follow Peter on Twitter for more tips. And continue following our arts & culture coverage on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Skincare 101: Five Skincare Treatments Every Guy Should Consider

 

TEXT: Alexander Sauve

Age is a funny thing. It’s something that can’t be avoided. And yet, it’s fought against vigorously until the bitter end. And although using a high quality face cream is a great way to maintain the moisture balance in your skin, it can only do so much; after all the empty promises, it’s still just a face cream, not a magic wand. So when its time to step-up your game, these five skincare treatments are guaranteed to keep you looking like you, longer.

Botox: Complexion Perfection

I am a big fan of Botox, and for good reason: it can knock off a few years in a matter of a few days. Botox is a neurotoxin protein that temporarily freezes overactive facial muscles. It can be applied to various places in and around the face. The most popular areas for treatment are the forehead, around the eyes, between the eyebrows, the lower jaw (for jowls), and the ‘tree rings’ around the neck.

The treatment is quick, painless, and requires no down time. The procedure is moderately inexpensive and usually costs between $8, on the very low end, to $12 per unit. Men typically need to apply more Botox due to the thickness of their skin. The majority of patients notice improvements in their skin in as little as three to four days and the full treatment lasts three to six months depending on location.

Peel the Years Away

It’s rather pointless to spend a small fortune on Botox and other time-erasing procedures if your skin is riddled with discolouration. A chemical peel is a great way to improve sun-damaged and wrinkle prone skin. The treatment uses a light acid to safely remove the upper layers of the dermis stimulating collagen and elastin. The skin is left revitalized, smooth and spot-free.

Although relatively painless, there may be some redness, light peeling, and mild tingling after the treatment. Results will vary and the procedure typically costs $140 (figure from NewDermaMed) per session. Peels can also be applied to the neck and hands.

Blastoff With Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion is far lighter than a chemical peel and is often included in many of the super facials that have gained popularity recently. Tiny crystals are sand blasted onto the face to buff away the outer most layer of the skin. After the treatment, the skin will be brighter and smoother, and will appear more youthful. Although there may be a bit of redness after the treatment, it will subside quickly. An average microdermabrasion treatment will cost around $140 per session.

Laser Where it Counts

If you’re looking for a relatively quick procedure with highly noticeable results, opt for a laser skin resurfacing treatment. Lasers are used to remove layers of the skin at a far more precise and deeper level than your average chemical peel or microdermabrasion treatment. Your skin will look younger, tighter, and be more resilient.

You can have your youth back but it will cost you. A typical micro laser procedure will set you back at least $600 (figure from NewDermaMed) and will only go up from there. Four or more sessions are recommended for optimum results.

Hard at Work: The Super Facial

The super facial ($118 Blitz Body Bar) is a relatively new hybrid of skincare that combines a little bit of everything. These high quality oxygen infused facials deeply clean and exfoliate the skin but with an added kick. Think of your regular facial treatment on steroids.

Super facials often include a mix of microdermabrasion, facial steaming, blackhead extractions, a mask or two, and lymphatic facial massage. The results are immediate and will leave your skin incredibly hydrated, smooth, and polished.The treatment works well on various skin types and is ideal for monthly maintenance.

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