Category Archives: vanity picks


We asked Pippa about her favourite beauty product:

“Ooooh I don’t know! I am pretty low key but love anything that’s super natural etc but having said that I’ve been using Retin a for years 😉 not so natural!!! xxx “

–Pippa Lord, author of Sous Style



We asked Emily what her favourite beauty product is:

“Oof that’s a tough question! If I had to choose one, I’d say Rodin’s face oil. It smells amazing, makes your face look dewy, and makes it so your make-up glides on easily. It’s an investment, but one I think is worth making.”

–Emily Schuman, author of blog and book Cupcakes and Cashmere 

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We asked Carin about her favourite beauty products:

“I love the hair products from the brand Rene Furterer that I’ve found here in Paris. The highlighting compact powder from Sephora in the colour “rose” is something that I now can’t live without. I also love the sea salt spray from Toni & Guy and my current perfume, which I adore, is “Un Jardin Sur Le Toit” by Hermès.”

–Carin Olsson, author and photographer of Paris in Four Months


I met Candice last month at Green + Good, a pop-up event at The Gladstone Hotel that hosted the best of Canada’s eco and natural beauty and skincare products. She gave an amazing presentation on what is really going into your products, what to avoid and how to change your routine. It doesn’t have to be a complete overhaul, because it’s not going to be easy. Don’t start with your absolute favourite product–instead find a better alternative for something easy like a body cream and go from there. Her presentation was really informative and I know really inspired the crowd to think about what they are applying onto their bodies every day.

The average woman applies about 9 personal care products a day, and in many cases this adds up to a great deal of toxic chemicals too, around 168 to be exact. Detoxing from the outside in is just as important as from the inside out. The skin after all is the largest organ on the body and absorbs 60% of the stuff we put on it, so it’s really important to use skin care products that don’t compromise your health.  As the Eco Expert on The Marilyn Denis Show, I get to try hundreds of products; here are some of my top choices. I use these everyday and are truly tired and tested.

I can’t live without:
Body Oil
Tata Harper’s revitalizing body oil. It feels like silk on the body, I have dry skin in the winter and simply can’t live without it. The smell….the texture…simple perfection! It softens and hydrates the skin and never ever stains my clothes. I have had a few issues with that over the years.
I have not worn perfume for 15 years, my hubby is horribly allergic.  Evoke The Elements Within is a collection of pure botanical perfume that I can wear and not kill my husband or co-workers with. EVOKE is so much more than a perfume, its aromatherapy in a bottle. Each scent is associated with an organ and all the ingredients used help to balance the mind and the body. Wood (liver) evokes harmony, Earth (stomach) evokes peace, Water (kidney) evokes wisdom, Metal (lungs) evokes happiness and Fire (heart) evokes joy. Okay I am a little biased with this choice as its curated manufactured by moi. I developed this collection because I was kinga grossed out by all the synthetics in perfume and wanted to give women a choice that’s healthy and luxurious.  
My morning and bed time routine:
I have never been one to use toner until I tried Pai’s Rice Plant and Rosemary BioAffinity Tonic. I spray this directly onto my face in the morning and the evening and feel totally revitalized. I use it every other day, not for any particular reason; I just love the way it smells and feels on my skin.
I use 3 different make up removers regularly because I can’t choose a fave:
Pai’s Camellia & Rose Hydrating Cleansing Cream because the smell is incredible and I love the texture of the cream, I have one dry spot on my left cheek that flares up every once in a while and this helps quite a bit. It’s technically a cleaner but I use it to remove makeup as well.

Tata Harper’s Refreshing Cleanser smells a-may-zing, clearly I love my products to smell beautiful. It also removes makeup really well; it’s soft and silky and washes off so easily.
I’ve been using the Cleansing Oil for a few months now. It smells amazing and feels light. My favorite part is that the oil does not drip into my eyes as I wash it off. I previously used makeup wipes, but always felt a residue on my skin after. With this my face felt super clean and refreshed!
Work day pick me up:
One love Organics vitamin d Active Moisture Time Release Mist: the only thing I can say about this product is TRY IT NOW.  I keep this at my desk and use it 3 times a day. One spray is all you need to feel completely revitalized. The smell is to die for and who does not love Vitamin D in a bottle?
Green Smoothie for your hair:

This product had me at “a smoothie for your hair”. I was intrigued when it landed on my desk. Eco hair products can be a tough sell (much like perfume) but this one is a cut above the rest. It did not weigh my hair down, my hair felt soft (but not too soft) and bouncy. Plus it has broccoli in it (but still smells yummy) which is really cool too!
Other things to keep in mind:
Go local and handmade
There is good news on the horizon, there are more small manufacturers popping up using mainly natural and organic ingredients. There is more transparency with their ingredients and because it’s made locally there is less of an impact on the environment, when it comes to carbon emissions caused by the transportation required to get the product to you.
Make scents when it comes to fragrance
Companies do not have to disclose certain ingredients if they use the words “fragrance”, “perfume” or “parfum”. Under this umbrella fall almost three thousand synthetic ingredients, so when you see those three words you really don’t know what you are getting. Synthetic ingredients are much cheaper than essential oils and are now widely used in all personal care products. Look for fragrance from herbal infusions, essential oils herbs and flowers.
No SLS please!
SLS or sodium laurel sulphates are foaming agents found in many personal care products, these are harmful toxins to us and the planet. Look for coconut oil or decyl glucoside, made from corn and plant based.
Remember, less is more when it comes to ingredients
The best beauty products in the eco market place are those that have the fewest ingredients. We simply don’t need all that extra stuff. Many of the toxins that are used in our favourite products act as preservatives and fillers. The fact is, products, like food, should “go off” after six months.


“As a beauty expert on Citytv’s Cityline and editor of BEAUTY the guide magazine, I see over 1,000 beauty products a year. The sheer number of new skincare, fragrance and makeup arriving in store each season can be overwhelming. So I spend a lot of time really studying the formulas and the most flattering shades. Fragrance is particularly tricky as perfume will smell different on two people due to skin chemistry. Here are some of my favourites.

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Great skin starts with cleansing and nothing is better than philosophy purity. The creamy formula has this fresh lemon scent and thoroughly cleans skin without stripping the moisture barrier. I even use the gel formula in summer to remove sunscreen, especially the sport versions that adhere to skin.
When it comes to makeup innovation, I’m always impressed with Dior. The French luxury brand continues to offer some really leading-edge products. I think the Airflash CC Primer is one of the best hidden secrets on the beauty floor. A quick spray and your skin is instantly perfected. I also like Dior Addict LipGlow. It creates the perfect shade for your skin tone intuitively.
MAC continues to do the majority of runway shows in Milan, Paris and New York and the Pro Artists remain tops in their field. The shadows and lipstick may get the most attention, but there is one miracle product that is worth a try: MACFix+. Spray your face after the end of a long day, and this fine mist brings your makeup back to life. It’s really great.
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No sun tan is safe so the best way to get that healthy glow is through GuerlainTerracotta. Bernard Arnault is putting big focus on this luxury brand in 2014 so expect to see its profile rise quickly.

YSLRouge Volupte lipstick has the most beautiful packaging. The product itself is good, but I just love the design of the bullet. It’s like a little work of art.
When it comes to fragrance, I’m so impressed with The 7 Virtues. This Canadian niche brand created by Barb Stegemann is supporting farmers in war-torn countries by buying flower and vetiver harvests. Vetiver of Haiti is particularly nice and the quality stands up to all the niche perfumery brands in the UK.”


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When we met the Canadian fashion blogger twins at the Clarisonic Aria event this past December at the newly renovated beauty floor at the Bay, we couldn’t get over how nice, friendly and funny they were (when we took a photo with them, they said that they couldn’t stand beside each other because they looked too similar). We chatted with them about pale skin problems and their all-time favourite beauty products (of course). 

Here’s what the super cute fashion queens use to get their signature look: porcelain skin, a bold cat eye and a bright lip.
From Cailli:
“I love the Givenchy Matte because it’s super light for my vampire skin town and is not shiny. It’s super matte. Also, I love Chanel sparkle pots because they are super glittery and look amazing on! NARS eyebrow gel has a really good hold and I love the color. And the bad gal Riri collection for MAC was epic. I love the eyeshadows because the tones are sooo perfect and it comes in an easy palette to use!
To get our signature look we also use:
NARS Dragon Girl lipstick, MAC Studio Fix powder, Chanel liquid eyeliner, Stila lipsticks, NARS Laguna bronzer for cheeks, l’Oréal mascara and Chanel face products with our Clarisonic Aria.”



We asked Haleigh about her favourite beauty products:


Moroccan Oil – I’ve tried a lot of alternative hair oils, none measure up to Morrocan Oil. It’s great if you have long and color treated hair especially. It’s helped me improve the quality of my long locks a lot since I started using it, and it smells heavenly!
Mermaid Hair – Another divine smelling product, Mermaid shampoo and conditioner is really a treat, the scent always keeps summer on my mind and the quality is great. I love giving this is a gift too. 


Lancôme Dream Tone – I have uneven skin, and this helps level out your complexion, especially between seasons. It’s a nice primer for makeup as well and has moisturizing qualities. 
Santa Maria de Novella Vanille Crema Corpo – This is so hard to find but I’m obsessed. I have no discipline when it comes to moisturizing my body, so the fact that this smells like heaven makes me excited to use it and gets me in the habit of moisturizing. My boyfriend loves it too, I am always having to steal it back from him!
Shiseido Benefiance – I hit 25 this year and am trying to get more serious about anti-aging products. I tried this at a friend’s and loved it. It’s just for the eyes, absorbs well, and has already helped me fade some fine lines I was beginning to see. I’m running out now though and have some Lancôme alternatives that I’d like to compare. 
Lancôme Définicils – I’ve used this mascara since I was fourteen and have never found one better. It’s my number one! Goes on nicely, stays on nicely, and looks great. 
Lancôme Art Liner – The gold standard for the black cat eye everyone loves. Recently though I am loving all the new colors they’ve released in Artliner; blues, aquas, and copper especially. 
Lancôme Teint Visionnaire – This foundation goes on beautifully. For some reason it blends much better than others I’ve used, and the cap is so cool because you flip up a little lid there to find a concealer and small mirror. It’s so convenient!
Lancôme Rouge in Love – I love this range of lipsticks because they’re perfect for daytime. They are a big more sheer, and come in some really beautiful rosey pinks that are great for everyday. 
Serge Lutens Rahat Loukoum – Although it’s not the only fragrance I wear, this one is my favorite and most treasured scent in the world. The notes are cherry, almond, rose, amber, honey, vanilla and more. 

–Haileigh Walsworth, American writer (who lives in Paris!), photographer, filmmaker and author of the blog, Making Magique



We asked Victoria about her favourite beauty products:
“I’ve always been more of a skin care than makeup girl, for me healthy natural-looking skin is the key to beauty, and can’t replace any kind of foundation. To cleanse my face I use organic products, in the morning and afternoon I use Nubian Heritage Black Soap, which also serves as a makeup remover. Every day I apply a face mask called Tensoderm which I buy at a local pharmacy, or the Creamy Mask with Tropical Resins by Sisley which I love. A secret product (which is about to become not-so-secret) is Argan Oil, which I apply a tiny bit on a tissue and dab around my face before bed – it makes me feel incredible when I wake up, since it gives me a luminous and fresh complexion, hydrated just right. To moisturize I have tried about ninety different creams, but the product that works for me is Physiogel which you can buy in pharmacies too. Aside from that, I don’t use anything else. Though in summer, I put a bottle of rose water in my fridge and spray my face with it very often, it’s so refreshing.
Regarding makeup, I really don’t use much of it, aside from the days when I get breakouts. I use the Clinique CC Cream to cover any imperfections, and the Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat under my eyes to look (and feel) refreshed. I never ever use eyeshadow since I don’t suit it at all, but I do love the Lancôme Définicils Mascara, which really makes a difference as it visually opens my eyes. For my cheeks, for some reason I love MAC’s Mineralize Blush in Dainty, it gives a beautiful subtle glow. The one thing I love experimenting with is lipstick, and right now I love Chanel’s Rouge Allure Velvet in La Distinguée as it’s two tones darker than my normal lip colour and gives me that natural look I always go for.”

 –Victoria Berezhna, author of the blog, Bougeotte, and fashion contributor for This Is Glamorous


Céline Kaplan is the founderof Céline Kaplan Public Relations (CKPR). She began her career in PR at Chanel-owned swimwear and lingerie brand, Eres. Now, her firm represents the best in luxury fashion, lifestyle and beauty with clients that includeThe Webster Miami (the most curated Fashion destination in the US), Eres, Ladurée (the ultimate of macarons), candlemaker Cire Trudon, perfumer Maison Francis Kurkdjian, and most recently, home decor brand Monc XIII rounding out her enviable client list.

We asked Céline about what keeps her looking French-girl chic:

Makeup: Chanel Rouge Coco Shine, Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat, Bourjois Lune d’Or, MAC mascara.

Nails: Japanese nail art at Marie Nails, New York.

Skincare: Boots Rose Water Spray, Clarins Eye Cream, Chanel Clay Mask, MAC Makeup Remover, Chanel Gel Cleanser, Clarins Sunscreen, hydrating cream Biafine After Sun, Clarins Body Oil.

Hair: For volume, Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray, Klorane Summer Camomile Shampoo.

Fragrance: Perfume Lumière Noire by Francis Kurkdijan, at home candle Balmoral by Cire Trudon,  in my room the Paeva candle by Ladurée, Gardenia Oil.