From Olivia Wilde's fuchsia and Nicole Richie's saturated red to Emma Stone's vampy plum, ILIA Beauty has a luxe natural alternative for every lip colour you'll need this season. Shop the brand's range of gorgeous lipsticks, tinted lip conditioners, lip crayons, and more here.
Although we're not quite at sub-zero temps yet in most parts of Canada, as the last of the leaves fall and the mercury begins its descent, it's the perfect time to prepare your beauty arsenal for our skin-sabotaging Canadian winter. Good practices include not just switching to a heavy-duty moisturizer, but also drinking more water, revamping your makeup habits, and remaining vigilant about sunscreen.
Start your daily routine with a milky or oil-based cleanser, which will nurture the moisture levels in your skin rather than stripping it of its natural oils. I'm all about oil cleansing this season (learn about it here), so I'm sort of obsessed with Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Vitamin B Active Moisture Cleansing Oil. Other great options are Kahina Giving Beauty Facial Cleanser, which uses miracle-working argan oil as its base; Marie Veronique Organics Cleanser—especially for stubborn, hard-to-remove makeup; and sensitive-skin specialist Pai Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser ("best cleanser I've ever used!" says one customer).
For daytime moisturizing, plant oils are particularly effective, since they mimic the skin's own moisture barrier and are easily absorbed into the upper layers of the epidermis, where they help nourish and protect. Extremely rich in vitamin E and antioxidants, Kahina Giving Beauty Argan Oil is a perennial favourite (and it's not called "Giving Beauty" without reason—25 percent of profits are donated to support women in Morocco). Lina Hanson Global Face Serum combines 11 nourishing oils to provide anti-inflammatory, soothing benefits, and it's a great primer for makeup, to boot. If you prefer lotion to oils, any of Pai's skin-specific moisturizers will keep you hydrated and glowing.
No foundation, no matter how amazing the formula, looks good on dry, flaky skin. Consider a gentle exfoliant or mask treatment once or twice a week to remove dead skin cells. May Lindstrom has taken the natural beauty world by storm with her unique approach to skin care, and her "The Problem Solver" Correcting Masque is no exception. A jet-black fusion of antioxidant-rich raw cacao, healing bamboo charcoal, soil nutrients, salts, and exotic warming spices combine to purify and tighten pores, calm inflammation, fight and heal blemishes, jump-start circulation in the epidermis, and detoxify the skin. Or add a spoonful of One Love Organics Brand New Day Microderma Scrub & Mask to your regular cleanser and massage onto damp face for a gently exfoliating treatment.
Speaking of foundation, consider switching to a tinted moisturizer if your skin isn't at its smoothest. They're generally sheer and don't look caked on. Marie Veronique Organics Everyday Coverage is a great natural alternative to your favourite CC cream—with a subtle tint and SPF20 protection, it's become a nonnegotiable part of my morning routine. And your skin will thank you for staying vigilant about sunscreen even in the winter months.
It's safe to say we're past the sun-kissed days of looking like we just strolled off the beach, so swap your bronzer for rosy blush or a highlighter to warm up your complexion. (Highlighter newbie? Check out these tips for achieving a luminous glow.)
When it's time to hit the sheets at the end of the day, follow your cleanser with a vitamin- and antioxidant-packed face oil or serum, like my personal fave, Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil (voted Best Organic Miracle Worker in Harper's Bazaar); or Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Vitamin C Active Moisture Serum, which utilizes the rare fatty acid omega 7, and omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids, to help restore moisture levels and to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Armed with an effective natural skin care routine, plenty of water, and a household humidifier, you can keep your skin glowing against even the harshest winter elements.
Believe it or not, oil is the new superhero of facial cleansers. Yes, that's right—oil. While it might sound crazy at first, once you think back to high school chemistry class and remember the principle of "like dissolves like," the premise of using oil to remove…well, oil sort of starts to make sense. And even better: It can be used on any skin type.
So how does it work? The basic idea is that the oil you massage into your skin—be it castor oil, argan oil, jojoba oil, apricot kernel oil, or even sunflower oil—will dissolve the oil already on your skin, which has likely hardened with impurities and become lodged in your pores. In effect, when oil cleansing, you're dissolving the dirty oil from your face and replenishing it with healing, nourishing, beneficial oils. Done properly, oil cleansing can help clear up all kinds of skin issues, including oily skin, dry skin, sensitive skin, blackheads, and mild to moderate acne, leaving behind hydrated, radiant skin that isn't stripped of its natural moisture.
When you first start experimenting with oil cleansing, it may take a few tries to create your perfect blend, but the idea is work with your natural skin type. A good base for everyone is castor oil, which has potent anti-inflammatory properties and is also antibacterial. Castor oil can be drying, though, so depending on your skin type, you'll want to combine it with more or less carrier oils:
Jojoba oil: all skin types, especially acne-prone
Argan oil: all skin types, especially mature
Apricot kernel oil: best for dry, mature, and normal skin
Sunflower seed oil: all skin types
Grapeseed oil: all skin types, especially oily
Avocado oil: best for dry/mature skin
It's a good idea to blend on a ratio of thirds and adjust as needed from there. For example, for oily skin, start with 2/3 castor oil to 1/3 carrier oil; for normal skin, use equal parts castor oil and carrier oil; and for dry skin, try 1/3 castor oil to 2/3 carrier oil.
Starting with a dirty face (no need to remove makeup first), rinse with warm water. Pour about a quarter-sized drop of your oil blend into the palm of your hand and massage gently but firmly to the entire face, for about 2 minutes. Let the oil sit on your face for 30 seconds or more. Soak a face cloth in very warm water, then hold it against your skin for another 30 seconds before gently wiping the oil away. Rinse and repeat two or three times until all excess oil is removed. Don't scrub.
Seem a bit time-consuming? The bottom line: Massage oil into face, gently wipe it off. Or try Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Vitamin B Active Moisture Cleansing Oil & Makeup Remover. It's the bomb. Especially during the dry, cold winter months in Canada.
I’m a serious sweet tooth. If you've ever spent time with me, you know my dirty little secret: I'm hooked to sugar. Chocolate and cookies? Yes please. But it's time to face the not-so-sweet facts—adding inches to my waist is no longer my only concern. That afternoon (and morning, and evening...) pick-me-up is also causing wrinkles and premature aging (gasp!).
The science says that sugar molecules attach to fats and proteins in the body in a process called glycation, which forms "advanced glycation end products" (AGEs). Sound ominous? It is. Glycation happens all over the body, to arteries, veins, bones, ligaments, our brain, and even collagen and elastin, the proteins in the skin responsible for keeping youthful skin firm and elastic. The presence of AGEs reduces the quality of the collagen in the skin, resulting in wrinkles, sagginess, and loss of radiance. It also makes the skin more prone to the damaging effects of pollution and UV rays.
The external signs of glycation start to become visible around age 35 and increase rapidly after that, according to a study published in the British Journal of Dermatology. Refined sugar isn't the only culprit, but white sugar and high-fructose corn syrup have been shown to increase the rate of glycation by up to 10 times. So what's a treat-loving gal to do? Instead of reaching for a Timbit or Cadbury Fruit & Nut bar (my weakness!), try these (un)guilty pleasures: They’re refined-sugar free and vegan and tasty and super easy to make.
1 cup unbleached white or whole wheat flour
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup brown rice syrup
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
just under 1/4 cup canola oil
just under 1/4 cup almond milk**
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl; combine wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Add wet mix to dry. Spray baking sheets and drop dough by teaspoonfuls, flattening cookies with a fork if desired. Bake approximately 7 minutes or until lightly browned. Makes about 30 cookies.
* Use soy milk or hemp milk if preferred.
Whether you're channeling your inner movie star or rocking out to grunge, red lips are the go-to beauty look for fall 2013. And thanks to some brilliant formulations from brands like ILIA, W3LL People, and Vapour Organic Beauty, there's no need to scrap your commitment to natural makeup to achieve the perfect pout.
Use your natural colouring as a guide to selecting the right hue: the fairer your hair/skin/eyes, the more orange-based reds will suit you (W3LL People's Nudist Colourbalm #3, or ILIA's Wild Child Lipstick, for example). Women with darker tones wear pinky reds beautifully (think ILIA's Bang Bang Tinted Lip Conditioner or W3LL People's Universalist #5). If you have olive or yellow undertones, try something with a brownish base, like Vapour Organic Beauty Siren Lipstick in Bold or ILIA's Femme Fatale Lipstick.
In general, let your lips do the talking, and pair bold lips with minimal eye makeup.
Dreaming of glowy, luminous skin? Step away from self-tanner and transform your complexion with a highlighter or illuminator. The idea is to bring out the contours of your face and create the illusion of a pretty catch of light, but sometimes it's not so obvious where to put the shimmery stuff. Here's a few tips on how (and where) to apply it.
Start with clean, exfoliated skin (hello Konjac Sponge!), and apply your favourite lightweight moisturizer. A primer, like Vapour Organic Beauty's Instant Skin Perfector, will help even out your skin tone and provide a smooth canvas for makeup. To achieve dewy, fresh-as-a-daisy skin, look for foundation with light, sheer coverage, like Vapour's Atmosphere Luminous Foundation.
A good rule of thumb for highlighter or illuminator is that it can be applied where your skin might naturally catch the light.
I suppose, since it's shorts-and-bathing-suit season, it's a good time to talk about it. We've all seen it (looking back in the mirror, for many of us!), and none of us wants it. While it's not a serious medical condition, a few little dimples of cellulite can send you running for cover (literally) even on the hottest of summer days. So what's a pool/lake/beach-loving gal to do? Put those leftover coffee grounds to good use with this easy-to-make, all-natural body scrub.
Why coffee? When used topically, the caffeine and antioxidants in java grounds are thought to dilate blood vessels, increase circulation, and reduce water retention, all of which can help even out the appearance of cellulite. I can't make any guarantees, but at the very least this DIY scrub will smooth the surface of the skin and help release toxins. And you might exfoliate away a few pounds in the process!
1 cup coffee grounds
1/2 cup coarse brown sugar
1 cup coconut oil (or olive oil, or jojoba oil, if you like)
1 tbsp vanilla (optional)
Mix together the coffee grounds and sugar. Slowly add the oil, mixing well with a spoon or small spatula. Add vanilla, if desired, and store in a jar or pot with a lid. Massage onto wet skin in a circular motion and rinse with warm water.