Beauty: DIY Rose Water Toner/Spritz 

There are some beauty products that are worth splurging on, and then there are those you can make yourself – which are as good or better than anything you can buy. 

Take rose water for example.  It’s super easy to make and has a host of healing benefits.  But the smell alone like a walk through a rose garden, is heavenly enough to perk you up.  Applied to your face after cleansing with a cotton ball and/or spritzed lightly before applying cream will freshen you up and prepare your skin to absorb the moisture.

As a skin soother, rosewater is an all-in-one solution. Its anti-inflammatory properties help to reduce excessive skin redness, whether from broken capillaries or general skin blotchiness. It also has hydrating properties that help to soothe dry, irritated skin, and is used as a cooling treatment for sunburns.

Rosewater has mild astringent qualities, making it a good choice to remove excess skin oil and tone pores. You can even use it as a cleanser itself to remove excess dirt and oil, thus keeping pores unclogged.

Many beauty companies have Rose Water as part of their beauty product line such as “fresh”

To make rose water you need just two cups of distilled water (you can also use Spring), and clean rose petals.  I used beautiful red rainforest petals.  I added a teaspoon of vodka, which acts as a preservative but you don’t have to.  It can be alcohol-free but it may not last as long.  And of course vodka on it’s very own or with a few olives is a necessary beauty pick-me-up (for another post).  Kidding! sort-of

Simmer all the ingredients on low  for about 30 minutes. Let it cool before straining into bottles.  I keep a larger glass bottle in the fridge and refill a smaller one.  That’s it.  I compared mine to one from another leading brand and am happy to say that mine compared just as well…maybe more so (but of course I’m biased).

Have you tried making your own?




Beauty: Erno Laszlo – the original skin maestro

The Hungarian-born dermatologist and skin care guru who founded the Ernő László Institute may be living no longer, but his skincare line is alive and thriving at high end department stores such as Holt Renfrew (Canada) and Saks Fifth Avenue (USA). Now celebrating 90 years of glamour.

Ava, Audrey, Greta, Marilyn, Jackie O – they were all devotees.

With numerous choices at the beauty counter and abundance of new lines cropping up it’s nice to look back to an influential original.  Some of the product line was gifted at a recent women’s fundraising luncheon so I’m testing them out.  So far, no complaints.


The philosophy is that there’s more to skincare than meets the eye. Skincare isn’t just about taking care of your skin at the surface: it’s about total body wellness. Taking care of your skin begins from the inside out. Good diet, nutrition, and dedication to a skincare ritual will keep your skin healthy, clear, and glowing.

The Laszlo bespoke double cleansing duos let you customize your routine to meet your skin’s unique needs.

why cleansing oils?

Nourishing Cleansing Oils soothe and soften skin by gently breaking up dirt, makeup and other impurities without stripping your complexion of precious moisture.  Yes, I knew that! I thought I was the one who invented that idea.

why cleansing bars?

Indulgent Cleansing Bars boast game-changing antioxidants and botanicals, plus soap inherently combats oil on contact. Translation? Bye-bye bacteria, hello fresh glow. Okay, I didn’t know that.  My mom always told me to stay away from using soap on my face but maybe this is a whole different bar of soap.

why together?

Depending on your skin care need they help to exfoliate, brighten, firm, hydrate or soothe. When combined, the cleansing oil and cleansing bar create a rich cleansing mask that gently washes away oil and debris from pores.  They impart active ingredients to your skin that work to target your skin concern long after cleansing is done.

And of course there’s everything else in the line such as serums, creams and such.

Have you tried anything in this line?


Beauty: Blueberry Exfoliant

Blueberries and Acai berries

are normally reserved for my smoothies, not my face.  But this was a nice alteration.

I’m usually a bit skeptical of “too good to be true” deals but recently on a shopping trip to Washington State I stopped in at Trader Joe’s and found this little beauty. T.J’s Blueberry & Acai facial scrub is surprisingly effective, smells great and the price is right.

Essentially, it’s an antioxidant rich gentle exfoliant that helps to slough off dead skin cells and leave you feeling smooth and pampered. It also contains alpha-hydroxy acids, which is supposed to treat acne and improve the appearance of scars. I quite like it.

What It Claims To Do
Here’s what it says on the Trader Joe’s website: “While this Scrub is exfoliating, save for a few stray blueberry seeds and its very slight general graininess, it’s not really its texture that does the exfoliating—it’s the alpha-hydroxy acids, or AHAs. We also include colloidal oatmeal, shea butter, meadowfoam seed oil, and various plant extracts to soothe and pamper that beautiful mug of yours.”

Beauty Bonus: the break-up

My powder blush broke into a million pieces.  What do I do?

Gather all of the broken pieces of makeup into its original container, and crush the whole thing up (even the parts that may not have broken). 2. Add a few drops of rubbing alcohol to the compact, and let it soak in. Use your finger (pre-wash hands of course), the back of a spoon, or anything, really, to rub and smooth down the makeup. Leave it overnight for best results. Apply.

Your welcome!



Beauty in a Box

Useful, beautifully thought out items for women on the go. Courtesy of the Zoe Report.

Aside from the leather clutch/shoulder/computer bag here are the other items in the Fall Box of Style:


If you spent too much time in the sun and pool, Oribe’s Supershine Light Moisturizing Cream is here to rescue your summer-loved strands. Imbued with a heavenly scent, massage a small amount of this leave-in conditioner post-shower, or midday, for a silky treatment.


Vegan and cruelty free, NUDESTIX gives you a natural way to get gorgeous. Their two-in-one crayon is moisturizing and vitamin-enriched — the perfect pick-me-up to give your lips and cheeks a pinch of color at a moment’s notice.


The perfect travel skincare set. My skin looked fantastic after using it. Call in a weekend staycation, or fake a spa visit, with Skinesque’s multi-tasking mask. Paraben-free and dermatologist approved, it will brighten up your visage with skin-loving ingredients from green tea to bamboo and charcoal.


A little luxury goes a long way, and these stackable baubles prove it. The choice item in the fall box, they deliver delicate diamonds on 14K Gold Plated Brass rings.


Overhaul clutter and make a modern statement via this metallic tray. Whether placed atop your work desk, coffee table, or vanity, it will effortlessly elevate your space.

Order your box here (while supplies last) –            Save $20 on your Fall order. Use CODE  FALL20


Beauty: the quick fix

Let’s face it – masks are messy.

These are great for a girly sleepover

Masks of all kinds are a relaxing ‘must’ in every woman’s weekly beauty regime.  It can get confusing trying to choose only one.  Which leads me to this:

When Sephora dedicates a whole counter to sheet masks you know they’re “a thing” even though Asian women have been using them for decades. I first saw them in Japan and thought “what a great idea.”  I even bought a kleenex box full of sheet masks.

Apparently there is a trend for taking selfies wearing sheet masks.

Not sure why.  I’ve tried it myself (just for fun of course…not to post obviously).

I cannot believe how popular they’ve now become here in North America.  With the abundance of different choices available you can refresh, hydrate, brighten, tighten, lighten and treat your skincare concerns.

my recent under the sheet experiments because “I’m Real

Simply, they get the job done in a matter of minutes. Try different ones to suit your mood or skin condition of the moment (because as you know it changes with the season).  No chance of getting bored. They’re so reasonably priced, great for travelling or when you have limited time. And you can pick them up almost everywhere.  What’s not to like?

Have fun!  Have a favourite?





beauty: beauty counter

These two products are summer beauty essentials.

They were sent to me in my summer Box of Style which by the way, I always look forward to receiving every season.  Because it’s what’s on the inside that counts.


Formulated without harmful ingredients, this hibiscus-hued blush is indispensable for the sultry season. Sweep it on your cheeks and lips for a pretty pick-me-up day or night. The color is flattering for all skin tones.

Beautycounter Cream Blusher, Retail Value: $37


This one was timely because I just finished my sunscreen stick that I carry around in my purse.  Never leave home without a sleek sunscreen stick. This one is made with organic coconut oil and acai fruit oil, it offers water-resistant sun protection that goes on sheer—so your skin will love it.

Beautycounter Protect Stick Sunscreen, Retail Value: $18

Source: the Zoe Report for Box of Style

Beauty – Goop pop-up at Nordstrom

 For a short while only

Goop: Launched in the fall of 2008 out of Gwyneth Paltrow’s kitchen as a homespun weekly newsletter, GP wanted a place to organize her unbiased travel recommendations, health-centric recipes, and shopping discoveries for friends, and she also wanted to get her own questions—about health, fitness, and the psyche—answered. Now, goop has become a fully formed lifestyle site, offering a tight curation of products and content. It is a place for GP to introduce some of the incredible experts who have mentored her throughout her life to a wider audience, and a place where readers can find suggestions about where to shop, eat, and stay from a trusted friend—not from an anonymous, crowd-sourced recommendation engine.


We have always been outspoken here at goop about concerns over the toxic ingredients used in personal care products—an industry that operates without regulation. 13 months ago, we were given an opportunity to partner with Juice Beauty, a California company that has been making non-toxic products for more than a decade. We built on their foundation in safety to create something that didn’t exist that I had always been looking for: A line of truly luxurious and effective skincare—products that take organic to the next level. Our line delivers clinically proven, age-defying results that mirror exactly what you would find from the big guys with huge R&D budgets and no ingredient restrictions—but instead of plastics, and toxins, which you would be surprised to know are found in so many expensive face creams, they are loaded with organic, naturally-occurring ingredients that are actually good for you. Aloe, apple, lemon, and grape juices deliver glow, peptides and linseed extract help to firm skin, hyaluronic acid plumps and smoothes fine lines, vitamin C works to clean up the age spots, and meristem plant cells minimize wrinkles and brighten skin tone. We literally did not rest until we had a set of six products that are, quite simply, perfect. Safe enough for our daughters, and powerful enough for those of us who have maybe spent too much time in the sun. I hope you love them as much as I do.

love, gpI am sampling a few of the products like the eye cream & exfoliating instant facial which they swear gp uses daily.  I left with a nice shopping bag & an authentic Japanese bamboo tea ceremony whisk for my matcha green tea lattes.  I have the bkr water bottle which I love.

Beauty: BioActive Externals

Youthful and Ageless

Two key words that jump out to grab our attention in the packaging of many skincare lines.  After all, we all strive to be youthful and ageless for as long as we can.

If we’re being true to ourselves we should know that we cannot rely on one miracle topical product to turn back the clock.  But we keep hoping.  I think even with *good genes the key ingredients to staying youthful is remaining curious, being active, refrain from stress (as much as humanly possible), eating and sleeping well, hydration and the bioactive externals like good clean skincare.  Basically looking after yourself as well as you can because you’re all you’ve got! Keeping this in mind, and aside from my own products, I’m always open to checking out new and improved skincare regimes.  I also love the ritual of applying them morning and night.

After having met and listened to Suzanne Somers promote her Suzanne Organics skincare line which is exclusively at Clark’s Nutrition in Rancho Mirage, Ca., I felt obliged to try a few products.  If only because Suzanne is her own best testament to the products and philosophy behind them.

Makeup + Skincare by Suzanne Organics

I’ve been using her ageless serum which is loaded with sea algae followed by her Bioactive Moisturizer which among other active natural ingredients is loaded with CoQ10, Argan (last year my sis brought Argan oil back from the Atlas mountains of Morocco for me) oil and sea buckthorn berry which acts as a superfood for your skin.  Of course you have to eat whole food for your skin to look its very best but let’s just agree that the ingredient listing is excellent.  It feels great on my face too. The whole collection is Toxic Free.  The coco-mango body butter is my absolute favourite. Find out more at: link below

*Having good genes doesn’t mean you’ll live longer, it just means you’ll look better doing it.


  Formula uses only pure, organic ingredients

  No animal testing

  No synthetic fragrances

  Beech Tree Bud Extract supports the skin cells. This organic extract moisturizes the skin and assists in the look of wrinkle reduction by supporting the skin

  Argan Oil is one of the rarest oils in the world, this desert plant restores moisture so skin can survive dry climates, such as air-conditioning or heating

  Just as this plant protects itself from the desert heat, the oil from the tree’s fruit helps our skin to be protected from the elements.

  Sea Buckthorn Berry is a rare plant that contains essential fatty acids, Omega 3,6,7 and 9! Our skin loves these essential fatty acids and to find all of these essential fatty acids in one plant is remarkable


If you’ve been fortunate enough to try her line I’d like your comments.

Polished Beauty

Beauty with a Purpose – from Cult Favorite Skincare Label Tatcha

It’s something that was sent to me in the new Box of Style – second go around for Spring. I don’t have to go out looking for new product, it now comes to me and keeps on getting better. I’m happy that it’s an exfoliant with a history and a mission to empower women, as well as make them look well, more polished shall we say?

What it is: a non-abrasive, water-activated enzyme exfoliant with rice bran and licorice, so even those with dry skin can use it. Which helps to encourage cell turnover, lighten the appearance of dark spots, prevent breakouts or clogged pores, and prepare the skin for any treatments to follow.

Founder Victoria Tsai’s Mission Statement

“When I thought of geisha, I had always pictured them with their iconic white makeup. When I met them in person, I realized that underneath that makeup is baby-soft, smooth, luminous skin. Caring for their skin is part of their artistry, passed down and honed through generations. Their rituals and ingredients are timeless and beautiful—they view skin as a brilliant organ, able to care for itself with a little bit of gentle cleansing and nourishment. I fell in love with this approach and wanted to pay homage in creating Tatcha.”

Western Vs. Eastern

“Western skincare is a lot like Western medicine, using drugs to treat an issue after the fact. Eastern skincare is like Eastern medicine, focused on prevention and keeping the body in balance to avoid disease before it starts. Classical Japanese beauty rituals were born from the geisha’s rituals, which are natural, elegant and spare. Even with elaborate performance makeup, her ritual is no more than four steps: melt away her makeup, polish, plump and nourish skin. The ingredients follow the same philosophy, with streamlined formulas of active ingredients, minimally manipulated to their most efficacious form. Whether it’s oil from a camellia flower, steamed wild rose or brewed green tea, each ingredient serves a purpose.”

Why Choose Tatcha

“We develop every formula and our key active ingredients from scratch in-house with some of the most famous skincare scientists in the world, like a couture dress. The ingredients are pure and clean because of our classical Japanese heritage and because I was pregnant when we were beginning our R&D and needed a collection that is body-, animal- and earth-friendly. Finally, we believe that beauty begins in the heart and the mind. We have a 1:1 partnership with Room to Read: Every full-size skincare purchase funds a day of school for a girl in a developing country. Thanks to amazing clients and friends like Rachel Zoe, we have funded over 1 million days of school and counting.”

Have you tried it?  What exfoliant are you using and/or recommend?

photos/story: Zoe Report


Beauty: feeling flush for Spring 

with something other than the multiple winning “best of beauty” orgasm

What’s New from NARS?

NARS Narsissist Unfiltered Cheek Palette

Time to branch out from our usual Orgasm to six new Nars blush shades that comes in two cheeky limited edition palettes. Try pinks for a natural just-got-back-from-SoulCycle flush (sans all that sweat), and peach shades to brighten sallow cheeks. Whether you want a dramatic glow or a no-makeup makeup vibe, the mix of matte and shimmery finishes lends the ideal flush for every occasion.

NARS NARSissist Unfiltered I Cheek Palette – Limited Edition

  • Watch Me– opalescent gold, sheen
  • Me First– apricot, sheen
  • Takeover– copper rose, sheen
  • Out There– deep russet, matte
  • Chic– rich raspberry, matte
  • Exhibit A– red, matte

NARS NARSissist Unfiltered II Cheek Palette – Limited Edition

  • Conquest– pastel peach, matte
  • Undefeated– pale pink, matte
  • Powder Play– vivid pink, matte
  • Hot Sand– peach champagne, sheen
  • Fame– pink amber, sheen
  • Candid– mauve raspberry, shimmer

One of the Best Spring Palettes according to Allure Magazine

$59 ( and Sephora

Are there any others you can recommend?