Tag Archives: winter

SNOWED-IN BEAUTY

THE WEATHER OUTSIDE HAS BECOME PRETTY FRIGHTFUL, and yes, the fire is so delightful. Don’t get me wrong, I love winter, but there is a time and place for me to be outside in the snow–usually excessively bundled up wearing waterproof mascara. If I look back at Christmas’ past, it’s safe to say I’ve spent many days of my holidays pampering myself. I mean, I never usually have time to try out new DIY masks or give my nails the attention they need. So why not now, when there’s no way in hell I’m leaving the house?! I present to you a few of my favourite tricks for the at-home spa day.

For your dry, rough feet: What a great foot to start on (ya…)! This one is super weird and kind of uncomfortable at first but the results are actually astonishing. So wash your feet, get in there with the pumice stone if you fancy to, cut your nails if need be, then get ready for the softest feet ever. You’ll need two grocery bags (the plastic ones) and your favourite lotion. Literally apply a ton of lotion to each foot, like more than you could ever rub in. Disperse it onto your entire foot, making sure that there is still plenty of extra lotion in need of being rubbed in, then put each foot into a grocery bag. Tie the handles up around your ankles, and leave for as long as possible (a few hours will do wonders). It feels gross at first, but when you reveal your baby-soft feet at the end, you will never try anything else.

For your brittle hair: There’s no rhyme or reason for this one. The best thing you can do for your hair is to deeply cleanse and hydrate! Oils–be it EVOO, coconut oil, avocado oil, anything you’ve got on hand really, just apply it straight to the ends of your hair (not the roots!!). Again, the longer you leave it, the better, really. When it’s time to wash it out, double-shampoo to get rid of any build-up (Amanda’s got a great trick for this), then rinse with some apple-cider vinegar for some serious shine. And now that you’ve paid some special (albeit well-earned) attention to your mane, let it dry naturally for heavens sake!!

For your skin: I don’t know if you’re thinking what I’m thinking, but MASKS, MASKS, MASKS! If you’ve got the time, why not? Give your face a good cleanse, steam it before your rinse, then apply your favourite mask OR make one of your own– turmeric is a great ingredient if you’ve got acne, yogurt and honey are great for dry skin. You can do a few different masks if you play your cards right– don’t do more than one that contains a strong acidic ingredient (salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, glycolic acid), and stick to one clay mask (completely getting rid of the oils of your skin will never end nicely, expect only more oil than in the first place). Once you’ve masked to your hearts content, throw on a heavy moisturizer and don’t even think of going near your makeup bag.

For your body: If you’re so inclined, take a bath! I love baths! And I love making little bath concoctions to add to the water for some moisture and other skin-beautifying benefits–milk, oats, epson salts, honey, beauty oils (as I said, virgin coconut oil, avocado oil and extra virgin olive oil are my favourites), baking soda, powdered ginger, even tea! Now once you’ve soaked and you’re all pruned, scrub! Honey and sugar is one of my favourites–make it so that you have a nice thick paste. Scrub everywhere, slather on some lotion, then throw on your robe and get ready to fall asleep.

For your albeit rough nails: Cut and file your nails to perfection, then grab some of your homemade scrub and go at it, getting right in-between your fingers and at the cuticles. Rinse, then put on your best cream. Grab some polish remover, clean off your nails from any extra oils, then polish them. Don’t fool yourself, everyone loves their nails done but no one has the time for the up-keep… until now! Might as well!

Happy spa-day!

–Anna Raponi

GO HEMP!

I’d like to make sure that everyone has seen the film Kicking and Screaming before I start, firstly because it’s hilarious and secondly so that you understand the title of this post.
Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s talk hemp. This stuff smells like old people, and it has a bit of a questionable rep on the screen (I’m just thinking of Dwight’s teen neighbour who steals his hemp to smoke it). All jokes aside, you’ve got to get your hands on this plant, or rather some products containing it. Specifically hand cream. My hands are gnarly at this time of year–the cold air, the constant hand washing (for work, I don’t have OCD…at least I don’t think), and my naturally rough cuticles (I also rarely get manicures because I can’t wear polish very often). So, I need some serious help to say the least.
I remember my mom going through tubes of this super thick salve as a kid, and mother knows best, right? I picked up a tube of my own and it has literally been my saviour–I use some every night before bed, that way all the oils can fully soak in without driving me crazy. As I said before, the smell is unpleasant but doesn’t last, and it’s quite greasy at first (it dries nicely), but this is totally why it’s so effective! Little did I know that this lifesaver came in the more concentrated form of an oil, which I was also lucky enough to get my hands on. You can use this stuff solo or mix in with your hand protector. This oil is also great for really dry areas that need intense repair and hydration, like your elbows and knees. When all else fails, this line from The Body Shop is my go-to hand rehab.
–Anna Raponi

AERIN // WINTER COLLECTION

Not gonna lie here…pretty obsessed with this collection. I was so excited when I received them.

The packaging itself is beautiful–when I pulled the eyeliner out of the envelope I squealed with delight, I mean, how gorgeous! Light pink and minimalist gold lettering? Come onn. Plus, the little pink suede pouch for the cheek and lip compact is so luxe, and that’s not even mentioning what is actually inside!

Every single one of these products are amazing, but let me break them down for you:

Lipstick in Red Velvet: Glides on like a dream, and applies as a sheer, but buildable, blue-based red. No sparkles, no glitter, no nothing; just colour. Exactly what I like in a red lip.

Lip Gloss in Golden Kiss: A sheer nude gloss with flecks of gold. Not my usual cup of tea colour-wise, but this non-sticky gloss makes it easy to get your J.Lo on.

Cool Gel Eyeliner in Gilt: You maybe recognize this little wonder from last week’s Beauty Panel challenge on metallics. This eyeliner is my new obsession for adding a je ne sais quoi element to your everyday face. I love lining my waterline, tightline and inner corners with it for adding subtle sparkle and drawing attention to the eye. But, you could totally use it à la Lenny Kravitz in The Hunger Games.I love it combined with a red lip for a quick and festive holiday look.

Multi Colour Duo for Lip and Cheek: This is the perfect palette for adding quick polish to a lazy weekend face, or for adding some radiance. On one side is a warm golden highlighter, and on the other is a nudey creme blush. They give great washes of colour that you can easily build up for more opacity. Smudge it on eyelids, cheeks and lips for a quick glow. Great to bring a long if you’re staying somewhere else for the holiday, and want to cut down on items in your makeup bag. Could easily be paired with any of the items in this collection.

METALLICS // RED AND GOLD


I love metallic makeup (it’s the ex-figure skater in me), especially eyeshadows, but they aren’t always the easiest to pull off in everyday life without looking over the top. Now that the holidays are coming, we have a bit more of an excuse for glittery golds, silvers and bronzes, but wearing them in an understated way can be fun and unexpected.

When I first saw Aerin’s gold eyeliner from their winter collection, I immediately fell in love with it. This product is the key to making an everyday subtle, brown eye into something with a bit more sparkle. After applying a few of the brown shades from Urban Decay’s Naked Palette, and applying some brown eyelineralong the top lash, I lined my waterline and tight line with the gold pencil, taking it all the way to the inner corners of my eye. This trick draws attention to the eye, without looking obvious.
Although not a traditional metallic colour, I applied Lipstick Queen’s Red Metallipstick, from their new metallic lipstick collection. It’s the perfect holiday red infused with a metallic, pearlescent glow to kick the regular red lip up a notch. It leaves a pretty satin shine, so no gloss needed!

VICHY // IDEALIA SERUM & PROEVEN EYE CREAM

Not only does your skin age, from well, aging–getting older, your skin also ages according to your behaviour. Your skin’s condition is affected by how much sleep you get, what kind of diet you have, where you live, how much sun you get, your vices (smoking, drinking, etc.). So, unless you are living in the Irish countryside (no pollution or sun, really), and never drink or smoke (OK these might happen in Ireland), eat like Gwyneth Paltrow and get 8 hours of sleep a night, your skin is probably showing the wear and tear of your everyday life.

Vichy has introduced Idealia, a new serum that includes it’s exclusive correcting complex, LR2412+LHA, that helps to repair the behavioural stressors that are affecting the skin. Initially, I was surprised at what a creamy serum it is, and worried that it might be too heavy, but in fact, it is a light serum that is very hydrating, making it perfect for an added boost of hydration under your moisturizer to fight the dehydrating heating. It smooths wonderfully onto the skin and works great under makeup. I use this serum every morning to plump up the skin and give it a pearlescent glow. This serum is paraben-free and is non-comedogenic

Now, while this serum will help to fight behavioural stressors, if you are smoking, drinking, eating fast food, sugar and dairy, this will show up on your skin. Don’t be silly–drink lots of water, eat lots of fish and avoid cigarettes unless you want to look terrible by the time you’re 40.

As you all know, I have extremely sensitive eyes in the winter, and to fight off my periorbital eczema, I need to be using very rich creams around my eyes during the colder months. While my Eysilix works great in the summer for de-puffing in the morning, it just wasn’t hydrating enough come November. I was so happy to receive a sample of Vichy’s ProEven eye cream because it also de-puffs with the help of caffeine, plumps with the help of ceramide and has a luxuriously creamy consistency that really hydrates the eye area. It also helps to fade any dark spots around the eyes. This formula is fragrance-free, making it perfect for very sensitive skin.

CHANEL HOLIDAY // BLUSH AND POLISH

As the days get shorter, and sunlight becomes minimal at best, my already pale complexion gets downright ghostly come winter.
Up until a few weeks ago, I had been keeping up with my routine of lightly contouring with Nars’ Laguna bronzer and wearing Nars’ Orgasm for blush, but it started feeling as if my peachy-pink cheeks weren’t matching the more seasonal, darker red and berry tones that I wanted to wear on my lips.
As soon as I spotted Chanel’s new holiday collection, as usual, I knew I wanted to have absolutely everything, especially their new blush (by the way, the newly renovated beauty department at The Bay on Queen St. is gorgeous). Accent is a neutral-warm mix of pale pink and bronze, making it the perfect match to my cooler, blue-based lip colours while at the same time adding a healthy glow. I apply this blush after contouring to give my face a bit more life.
I also grabbed one of their holiday nail polishes, Rouge Rubis. It’s the perfect blue-based bright red, with a thick formula, I seriously considered whether or not I should do a second coat. It’s long-lasting with a glass-like shine, just as the Rouge Noir. For some reason, I’m in love with the idea of a red lip and nail for the holidays this year. Predictable, but classic. There was also a beautiful eyeshadow palette available, but seeing as I barely wear eyeshadow anymore, I figured I would pass this time.
Taken from this week’s FASHION Magazine Beauty Panel Challenge.

WANT // J.CREW

J.Crew‘s November Style Guide arrived in our mailbox last Friday. After flicking through it, Jordan and I decided we wanted everything in it. The photos were shot at Amanda Brooks‘ farm in the Cotswolds (I want to steal her life, not to mention she is also very chic).So this is what will happen: I will start to wear all things knit, become extremely stylish and move to the English Countryside 

And then Jordan will start dressing like an old Englishman (it’s what he secretly wants, anyways)…

And then one day we will have super stylish children.

And someone willbuy me the Comme des Garçons Converse sneakers (in the canvas colour, please).

The end.

VP x AURELIA PROBIOTIC SKINCARE // AUTUMN & WINTER SKINCARE

I’m sure you’ve felt it by now–tight, dry skin. The change in seasons can wreak havoc on your skin, making your summer skincare products redundant, no longer able to quench your skin’s thirst.As soon as September came along, my lighter formulations from the summer were no longer enough. My forehead almost immediately became crepe-y and uncomfortable.The change in seasons doesn’t mean you completely need to overhaul your routine–just change up a few key products: your cleanser and moisturizers. Using a gentler, more hydrating cleanser means that your natural oils won’t be stripped away and using a richer moisturizer packs in even more hydration to fight the dry heat of interiors and the harsh, cold winds.

Aurelia Probiotic Skincare, a new BioOrganic British brand, has created a line of products that work with the effects of probiotics and botanicals to promote healthy skin by fighting inflammation–the main cause of skin aging. There is no bad stuff in their products–you won’t find chemicals or pore-clogging ingredients here.

Probiotics are the good bacteria that you always hear about in the yogurt commercials; they create a healthy environment for your stomach and help digestion, and can help with eczema and acne among other things. I, myself, take probiotic supplements everyday to help my sensitive/lactose intolerant stomach. There is some new research that shows that since probiotics make for a happy tummy, they might also help to clear skin. The theory is that whatever is going on in your gut will show up on your skin (a.k.a. healthy gut=healthy skin).

Aurelia’s products are lush–the day and night creams are luxuriously silky and beautifully scented (as are all of the products) with bergamot, chamomile, eucalyptus, lavender, neroli, jasmine, plumeria, tuberose, rose, mandarin and rosemary. The aromatic cleanser throughly cleanses the skin, but leaves it feeling soft and supple. For an extra hydrating/anti-aging kick, a few drops of the Cell Repair Night Oil boosts your skin’s ability to repair your skin overnight. The oil can be applied every night under moisturizer for those with dryer skin, or a few nights a week for oilier skin. Essential fatty acids, antioxidants and oils help to fight free radicals and reduce oxidative stress.

Since starting to use their line, I get less pimples, my skin is clearer, more even-toned and well hydrated.

I’m so glad that Aurelia wanted to work with us on this video, as I love their whole range, and essentially, this video and post allows me to create one big review rather than a bunch of small ones.

In case you’re interested what other products I use in my routines, I’ve listed them here for you:

Morning

Cleanser: Aurelia Miracle Cleanser 

Exfoliating toner: Biologique Recherche P50
Hydrating toner: La Roche Posay Serozinc

Eye cream: Eysilix

Eye serum: Lancôme Advanced Généfique
Face serums: Lancôme Généfique Eye Light Pearl & Hydraluron

Moisturizer: Aurelia Cell Revitalise Day Moisturiser

Sunscreen: Kiehl’s

Evening

First cleanse: Ren Rosa Centifolia No.1 Purity Cleansing Balm

Second cleanse: Aurelia Miracle Cleanser 

Exfoliating toner: Biologique Recherche P50
Hydrating toner: La Roche Posay Serozinc

Eye cream: Eysilix

Face oil: Aurelia Cell Repair Night Oil

Face seruma: Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair & Hydraluron

Moisturizer: Cell Revitalise Night Moisturiser

Aurelia’s products are also all available on Net-a-Porter.

I was not compensated for this post, nor did Aurelia provide any payment for this video. I thoroughly love and support Aurelia’s products. I received the products as PR samples. 

WANT // WINTER ESSENTIALS

Click to enlarge

 

Unfortunately, Winter is here. Whether we like it or not. I got the basket of mittens, gloves, scarves and hands brought down from the top shelf of the front closet last week to find something to keep me warm on my walk to work. The blustery, cold winds had finally gotten to me and I realized that I could no longer let my fingers freeze every morning.

 
So I guess it’s time to accept it. Halloween is almost here, which means it is that close to November. Time to beef up our supplies with cozy knits and richer products. Here’s my winter essentials list:
 
1. Miu Miu Leather Gloves: I believe these were on my wishlist last year. I am just dying for a pair of pink leather gloves like these for fancy occasions. Sometimes looking chic takes precedence over keeping warm.
 
2. Talula Fulton Mittens: These are my staple mitten. I have picked them up for the last 3 or 4 years now without fail as they perfectly fit my small hands (nothing worse than huge, droopy mittens). Knit exterior and fleece-lined interior to keep your mitts (pun intended) warm.
 
3. Diptyque Pomander Candle: On my last trip to Soap and Water for my Fall candle (Feu de Bois), I smelled this candle while perusing. It has the perfect mix of everything Christmas–orange, cloves and cinammon, I would have picked it up then, but I am waiting until mid-November so I don’t use it up before December even arrives.
 
4. Aveda Hand Relief: My favourite hand cream. Non-greasy but rich enough to keep hands from cracking or getting chapped. Plus, the refreshing rosemary-mint scent is always a winner.
 
5. Elizabeth Arden 8-hour Cream: As you know, I get Peri-Orbital eczema in the Winter (aka dry, itchy, red eyelids). I put this cream on my eyelids to protect them from wind burn on my walks to work. Also great for anything chapped (hands, lips, cheeks, etc.)
 
6. Nuxe Rêve de Miel Lip Balm: Thick and luxurious. Won’t wear off for hours and provides a nice barrier for lip protection.
 
7. Hunter Boots: I don’t feel super chic in these, I kind of feel like I belong on the farm, but Winter just got to me last year, and my feet couldn’t take any more leather-soaked boots any longer. These babies should keep any kind of snow, slush or moisture out. I’ll pair them with thick socks for warmth.
 
8. Zara Two-Sided Soft Scarf: I’m not sure if it’s the grunge trend that’s happening right now, or if my lumberjack-esque husband’s style is influencing mine, but I saw this scarf online and decided I had to have it. One side for play, one for business. Or, one for grunge, one for prep. Perfectly versatile and large enough to double as a blanket.
 
9. Roots Cabin Socks: As I mentioned in 7, these are great paired with boots, or just for keeping warm inside. Cozy, thick and they look cute peeking out of boots.
 
10. Fleece-lined tights: My friend Joanna texted me insisting that if I was making a Winter essentials post, these better be included. And she’s right. Ever since discovering these at Primark, we buy these every year. Straight up tights won’t do when it’s -10, or -20 outside. These allow you to keep wearing your dresses and not totally freeze your butt off. 
 
11. Oliver Peoples XXV-S Sunglasses: I tried these on last summer at Holt Renfrew and I still want them. Plus, everyone needs a pair of sunnies to protect their eyes from snow glare in the winter (and for me, it’s extra eyelid protection against the wind).


12. Green Juice: I am a new convert to this. Every single time I have felt sick, I run to my nearest Fresh Restaurant and pick up their Super Cleanse juice. Filled with vitamins, it has fought off every cold before it has even begun. Plus, it’s always good for your skin too.

13. Aritzia Mirte Turtleneck: I have been dreaming of this sweater since it came out this Fall. I am now waiting patiently for it to go on sale. Who doesn’t love a chunky knit sweater in the winter, plus the 90’s are back now, so turtlenecks are acceptable again.