#TravelDiaries: 6 Beauty Items for Beach Weather

I’d love to travel south with nothing but a bathing suit packed, but in reality there are products that I just can’t live without when I’m lounging on the beach.

Between the swimming and the sun-bathing, your skin deserves some TLC on vacation. These products will help you combat shine, keep you smooth and perfectly sun-kissed during any beach vacation. 

1. Dermalogica Super Sensitive Shield SPF30 Some sunscreens can clog your pores and cause your skin to become oily and prone to breakouts on vacation. Opt for a noncomedogenic formula instead and use a medicated, oil-free treatment moisturizer with SPF30 or more.

2. Clarins Beauty Flash Balm This beauty boosting cream is by far my favourite product ever. When it’s too hot to wear anything but sunscreen on your face, a little dabb along your cheeks and around your eyes will instantly revive tired and dehydrated skin. With revitalizing algae, olive and witch hazel extract it helps to smooth the skin’s surface while tightening and boosting radiance.

3. TATCHA Aburatorigami Japanese Blotting Papers If you’re feeling greasy but don’t want to lose the coverage of your sunscreen, blotting papers can absorb excess oil without removing SPF. Soak up the shine with these whisper-thin leaflets made of 100% natural abaca leaf and gold flakes.

4. Rimmel London Natural Bronzer Ditch your compact for a mineral bronzer that will compliment your temporary sun-kissed complexion. This light, bronzing powder is dermatologist-tested with an enhanced waterproof mineral formula to ensure a lasting beachside glow. 

5. Consonant Skin Perfecting Body Scrub Most people avoid exfoliating on vacation in fear of losing their tan. In actuality, it helps to maximize your tanning potential by removing dead cells that build up on the surface of your skin. This exfoliating scrub was formulated with the experts at Toronto’s FUZZ Wax Bar to help moisturize and prevent ingrown hairs through a combination of sugar, salt and a moisturizing glycerin base.

6. RoC Soleil Protexion+ After Sun Sitting in the sun and swimming in salt water can really dry out your skin. This soothing after-sun balm is made with shea butter and panthenol to hydrate skin, helping it to recover from exposure to the elements.

#TravelDiaries: 7 Products for Your Carry-On Bag

When it comes to bringing beauty items on board, having the right product can make all the difference in looking and feeling refreshed. Between the bad lighting, cramped corners and dry, stale air it’s no wonder why flying can do some damage to your skin.

My flight to Bangkok was nearly 25 hours with stopovers in Vancouver, Korea and a quick fuel up in Taipei - the worst itinerary ever. With an incessant travel schedule and no time to freshen up, these TSA-friendly beauty products helped me manage.

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1. RoC Multi-Actions Make-Up Remover Wipes Being on an airplane is no excuse for skipping your daily skincare regime. Since washing your face in an onboard bathroom can be tough, cleansing wipes are a convenient and efficient option. These alcohol-free RoC wipes combine nonionic emulsion surfactant and cleansing oil to help clean and sooth skin without drying it out. 

2. Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant The number one issue for skin when flying is dryness due to air changes inside the cabin. This cult favourite combines petrolatum with vitamin E to help moisturize and relieve chapped and cracked skin, reduce roughness, comfort abrasions and sooth skin irritations. It also acts as a de-reddening, anti-inflammatory agent. It’s the Superman of moisturizers.

3. Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1 Avoid dry mouth and chapped lips by drinking lots of water on the flight and regularly moisturizing your pout. I like this one because it’s virtually tasteless, scent free and easy to apply.

4. Vicks VapoInhaler Dry air can also take a toll on your ears, nose and throat by causing irritated sinuses to swell and make pressure worse. A nasal decongestant will ease the swelling and inflammation, leading to easier breathing and unplugged ears.

5. Revlon File ‘N Peel 6-in-1 File While I don’t condone the use of using polish on a plane, having a nail file is great for odourless, quick fixes. This one is made up of layers that you can lift and discard when they get dull to reveal fresh surfaces underneath. 

6. Mai Couture Foundation Powder Papier These innovative wipes help combat shine and prepare your skin for any plans after landing. Mai Couture foundation paper lets you ditch the compact for a fast and flawless alternative, helping to instantly mattify skin without a full makeup application. It’s also Zoe Report fave.       

7. Hollywood Fashion Secrets Deodorant Wipes Long flights and tight corners make it difficult to stay fresh. When your stopover doesn’t allow time for a shower, deodorant wipes are a good runner-up. These individually sealed towelettes are great to bring on board and toss in the garbage after one use.

#TravelDiaries: Top 4 Beauty Travel Accessories

Sawasdee! I’ve recently returned from a trip to Thailand which thankfully, just happened to overlap with the polar freeze here in Toronto. Since I’m still coming to terms with the fact that I’m home, and it’s unbearably cold, my next few posts will be entirely travel-centric. I’m hoping it will take our minds off all of this slush.

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There are a slew of things to consider when prepping your travel beauty regime, and in my case, things can get even more complicated if you plan on living out of a backpack for the duration of your trip. Before even thinking about which product to haul along, make sure you have the right travel accessories to keep things clean, organized and compact.

1. Forever 21 Geo Travel Bottle Set You likely have more than enough products to take with you on vacation, so why buy travel-size when you can make use of the things you already have? Travel pots and spray bottles make it easy to bring along your favourite beauty products without having to scavenge for a pint-size version.

2. Stephanie Johnson Miami Medium Zip Cosmetics Case The best way to keep track of products in your carry-on is with a transparent pouch. Using a clear bag saves time and confusion, which comes especially in handy when you’re bound to a middle seat and yearn for lip balm mid-flight.

3. Sephora Collection The Weekender If you’re anything like me, your makeup bag could probably shed a few pounds to make it vacation-appropriate. Try and limit yourself to the basics: your favourite eyeshadow, a couple lipsticks and a great bronzer for nights out. If you need more space, opt for a cosmetics weekender bag. With zippered compartments and a seven-piece brush holder, this one has room for all the makeup you want to bring without neglecting any essentials.

4. Contents Basic Black Cosmetic Valet The thing you need most. A hanging cosmetics bag is the perfect travel companion, keeping all your toiletries and beauty products organized and easily accessible. Hang this pouch up on one of the hooks in your hotel washroom and it’s kind of like a portable vanity. Kind of.

Avocado Beauty Hacks with @MissAvaCado

I don’t mean to start things off with shameless self promotion, but MAN do I make a mean guacamole. Friends will back me up on this. I could eat it all day if my waistline wasn’t so against the idea, but I do try and fit avocados into my diet whenever possible since:

  • They work as a “nutrient booster” by helping your body absorb more fat-soluble nutrients
  • They contain good unsaturated fats that help lower blood cholesterol levels
  • They provide nearly 20 essential vitamins and minerals including potassium, folic acid, and vitamins B, E and K

With all these great nutritional properties, why should anyone stop at simply digesting this green super fruit (yes, it’s a fruit)? It’s time to start slopping it all over your body!

Most people don’t know that avocados are nutrient-dense and contain unsaturated oils that have an incredible moisturizing effect on skin. Rich in potassium and vitamins, avocados and avocado oils have been used for years to help trigger the production of collagen; reducing wrinkles and enhancing skin tone. 

Last night I was invited to attend a DIY beauty event with Avocados from Mexico and Janine Falcon from BEAUTYGEEKS. Paired with a fabulous manicure by the technicians at Tips Nail Bar, beauty bloggers like myself were treated to a moisturizing hand treatment using the best avocados (from Mexico, of course).

Amped up with egg whites and lemon juice, the avocados left my hands feeling incredibly soft. The perfect canvas for a fresh manicure! Here is the recipe for the avocado hand treatment, which can also be used as a face mask:

Ingredients

  • 1/4 fully ripened avocado from Mexico
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tablespoons rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions

  1. In a bowl, mash avocado until smooth. Add egg white, oats and lemon juice
  2. Massage into hands and leave on for 20 minutes
  3. Rinse with warm water and pat dry

Since this recipe only calls for egg whites, Janine had a great idea to use the remaining yolk for an avocado hair mask! Full of fats and proteins to help revive your strands, the yolk mixed with one avocado and a splash of olive oil will create a nourishing hair treatment. The best time to apply is in the shower, since the heat opens up your hair follicles and allows the mask to penetrate deep into the hair shaft.

This isn’t my first rodeo with avocado, however. I’ve used it once before with strawberries in a face mask perfect for oily and/or acne prone skin. It’s amazing! Not to mention the left over avocado - guacamole anyone?

My Shoe Moment: CAT Womens SS13

Every girl deserves a moment to talk about shoes (OMG, shoes!) and this lookbook is totally worth the interruption. From workwear to womenswear, the SS13 Cat Womens collection effortlessly merges Caterpiller’s iconic rough-and-tough aesthetic with city girl chic.

Unlike the brand’s male-focused counterpart, their womens collection is filled with feminine cuts and dainty hues. Eye-catching pastels are perfect for Spring, and the leather sandals prove that you don’t have to compromise style for quality footwear.

My favourite pair from the SS13 collection have to be the Worksong oxfords. I love how Cat has taken a traditional mens style and transformed it into a softer, versatile shoe for women. These oxfords can be paired with almost anything, from summer shorts and skirts to distressed denim. Not to mention, they come in a range of pretty pastels that make choosing a pair that much more difficult.

Check out the Cat Footwear website for more info on the upcoming collection.

The Cools x Bobbi Brown #PrettyPowerful Skateboarding Lesson

Fashion’s latest social marketplace for the style minded, The Cools has partnered up with beauty guru Bobbi Brown to celebrate #PrettyPowerful girls from the fashion startup’s hometown.

The NYC initiative and curated shopping mecca brought pro skater Eli Reed on board (literally) for a nothing-short-of-chic skateboarding lesson in Thompkins Square Park. What’s better than watching ten women take a stab at the male dominated sport? Watching some of the city’s most powerful women do the deed in some killer swag.

Check out the video below featuring ten of The Cools’ pretty powerful friends including The Man Repeller Leandra Medine, Victorias Secret model Jessica Hart, The Cut’s Kat Stoeffel, Refinery 29’s Annie Georgia Greenberg, Bazaar’s Chrissy Rutherford, and True Blood actress, Anastasia Ganias.

SKATEBOARDINGGIRLS on Vimeo.

The Blogger Market: Virtual Pop-Up Shop

Big retailers have been using pop-up shops more frequently to stand out in the harsh consumer climate. Promoting a temporary retail space, unannounced and in an unconventional way (like covert or purpose-built venues) has become a huge trend in the realm of retail. Using the factors of exclusivity and surprise that can be found in open air performances and art galleries, pop-up retail is an initiative that makes shopping spontaneous and exciting for consumers.

Earlier this year we heard about online retailers including eBay, eLuxe and even smaller initiatives like Toronto-based Koopdekour hosting pop-up spaces unannounced. That concept has now seemed to flip from creating a tangible online store to bloggers and brands hosting shops via e-commerce. 

The “Blogger Market” is a project that very much employs the idea of pop-up retail in an online space. Kelsi Smith of Dedicated Follower of Fashion explains that the idea was inspired by a flea market where bloggers sold off their belongings. She then came up with the idea of running a series of blogger curated online stores, creating a temporary retail space with e-commerce.
      

Top bloggers were invited to select their picks from a group of emerging brands and artisans like d.RA and  Jenny Dayco, curating a collection of pieces in the first ever Blogger Market Pop-Up initiative. Keep an eye out for gift shop items curated by bloggers Kelly GolightlyTobruck AveHoney & SilkSnakes Nest and Kelsi Smith.

The virtual pop-up shop will be open until December 15th and features clothing, beauty products and covetable accessories via www.thebloggermarket.com.

4 Winter Beauty Tips Inspired by Summer Rituals

Even though it is only beginning to feel like winter in Toronto, the recent influx of brisk Ontario air is a subtle reminder of what’s to come. While most people adjust their beauty routines in preparation for the cold winter months, it’s not quite time to throw in the towel on those warm weather beauty rituals.

     

Nail Maintenance
Bring your toes out of hibernation! Winter pedicures should be a frequent indulgence, since your feet are tucked away inside your shoes all season long. The tight clutch of your toes inside of closed toe boots and shoes can cause scuffing of the nails, which can lead to fungal infections.

SPF and Sun Protection
It may not be tanning weather, but the sun can be just as strong during winter months. Cold temperatures do not influence UV rays from being emitted and snow reflection can cause things like sunburns and snow blindness. Protect your skin in the winter with a daily moisturizer that includes SPF protection. Since your skin won’t be as tanned, I’d suggest using a tinted moisturizer with an SPF of at least 15.

      

Exfoliate and Moisturize
Keep your complexion fresh during the winter by exfoliating weekly. Cooler air can cause dry skin and scaly lips, so keep your complexion looking vibrant by exfoliating then locking in moisture with a lush body cream or vaseline.

There is however one beauty ritual that IS encouraged to kick come colder weather, and it also happens to be one of the best parts of fall and winter fashion.

A Season Sans Shaving
Take advantage of the plethora of long sleeves and pants by letting your hair grow out a little longer than you normally would. Cooler months are the perfect time to start a wax or laser hair removal plan because it provides ample time to prepare your hair for the process.

Five Secrets to Lip Perfection this V-Day

Treat your lips to a little TLC and prep your pout for its busiest day of the year: Valentine’s Day! Nourishing lip care will have your peckers looking more kissable than ever, and here are my secrets for obtaining the perfect pout.

  1. Always BUFF your lips before applying any product. What works best to exfoliate your lips? I use an old toothbrush.

                                                 
  2. MOISTURIZE your lips on a daily basis for instant hydration. My go-to product is Thursday Plantation’s Tea Tree Lip Balm. This magic stick not only moisturizes lips, but also helps to prevent infections and cold sores. The 100% pure tea tree oil works as an antibacterial and antiseptic agent, while shea butter keeps your pout soft and supple. Consider this stuff lip care GOLD!

                                         
  3. PRIME your pout to ensure long lasting colour and shine. Primer works great for smoothing out the surface of your lips before applying product. I use MAC Prep + Prime Lip as a base underneath everything from stains to gloss.

                                     
  4. LINE your lips with a pencil to create a barrier for your lip colour, and keep it from bleeding. Since I tend to wear lip gloss more than lipstick, my ultimate go-to product is Cargo Cosmetic’s Reverse Lip Liner. The skin-tone liner is applied to the outside of the lip and blended out, creating the perfect lip line.

  5. Grab a tissue and BLOT your lips to get rid of excess emollients and colour. This step is essential for Valentine’s Day, since you don’t want your product rubbing off on to your sweetie!

Product Test: KORRES Natural Skin Care

I was recently introduced to KORRES, a Greek company dedicated to implementing eco-friendly production methods and natural materials.

KORRES uses entirely herbal extrac­tions and home­opatic reme­dies found in Athens, employing Nobel Prize winning research to produce their range of organic hair and skin care products.

                 

For the past few weeks I’ve been using a number of KORRES products, including the brand’s best selling Quercetin and Oak Antiaging & Antiwrinkle creams (which just happen to be clinically proven, natural alternatives to Retinol).

I couldn’t help but notice how quickly I fell in love with this brand! Here’s what I thought of some of the products:

Quercetin & Oak Antiaging & Antiwrinkle Creams (Night and Eye)
Despite the lightweight texture of these formulas, the night and eye creams go on feeling entirely opaque. With less than a dime-sized amount of product, the cream goes on smooth and easily, leaving my skin feeling completely hydrated.

Basil Lemon Body Butter
My absolute FAVE! I legit haven’t stopped using this stuff since I opened the bottle. This moisturizer is lush and nourishing, with hints of shea butter, quince extracts, and almond and avocado oils. The fresh citrus scent is an added bonus!

Wild Rose Face & Eye Serum
I’ve always been weary about brightening creams, and I tend to leave “line smoothing” in the hands of my makeup primer. Since using the KORRES Wild Rose Serum, I’ve noticed a slight change in the pigments surrounding my eyes. This product works well for what is does, but don’t discourage the use of H2O when it comes to hydrating your complexion!

It’s not often that you come across an effective skin care line that not only employs organic materials and production methods, but also lives up to its promises. If you’re looking for an all-natural, organic alternative for your beauty regime, don’t hesitate to take a look at the KORRES skin care collection.

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