beauty – apothecary appeal

Ever since the time I set foot in the original Kiehl’s homeopathic pharmacy in NYC

people are starting to go for a more natural approach - not tested on animals is a good start
people are starting to go for a more natural approach – not tested on animals is a good start

I was in heaven; hooked on the clean simplicity of the packaging and their natural old-fashioned appeal. Plus I actually loved a lot of the product line and it was a special treat to not be able to find it everywhere. As in “I went to New York and brought you back this special “ultra-facial” moisturizing cream, blah, blah.” But that was before it was purchased by L’Oreal and started to become mainstream and now sold in independant retail and high-end department stores including select airport locations world wide. You can’t blame them for selling out but it was more of a unique shopping destination at the time.apoc1

Several hundred years ago, you’d go to an apothecary to pick up medicine or to seek medical attention. Those jobs belonged to pharmacists and general practitioners, but now apothecaries are popping up again,  just in a slightly different capacity. Back in the day, an apothecary treated all different ailments, now the term encompasses beauty products, home goods, natural stuff and the like.  What’s old is new again?apoc3

But in line with the apothecaries of old, a lot of  beauty products are medicinally focused.  Things to help with thinning hair, dry skin and scalp, eczema and the like.  It’s all need-based and since the products are packaged fairly simply, the prices are usually lower – but not always.apoc2australia

A lot of these products are made with herbs and essential oils – but there are herbs that are good for your skin and there are others that are not depending on your problem area. You should do a little bit of homework beforehand even though sales people should be aware of what will work for you.  Don’t always count on it.

Most of the apothecary products selling now are very good, clean products and they have a lot of heart behind them. If you look closely you’ll find that the bottles all look the same or very similar – it’s the label that sets them apart (of course, what’s inside is what really counts). The focus being that a certain care and quality is infused (and expected) in products which are made in small batches.skin7

If the recent shift in the beauty market towards transparency and awareness is any indication, this is the kind of shopping experience consumers are starting to be attracted to again.  Customers now are more educated and come in with the right questions and they know what they’re looking for.  You have to because there’s much more to choose from but isn’t that a lot better than not having any choices?

WANT Apothecary has launched its first West Coast boutique in Vancouver's South Granville neighbourhood.
WANT Apothecary has launched its first West Coast boutique in Vancouver’s South Granville neighbourhood.

Montreal-born clothing and lifestyle boutique WANT Apothecary has opened its first West Coast outpost in Vancouver. Nestled among the art galleries and shops on South Granville, WANT Apothecary (2956 Granville Street) fits right into the neighbourhood with its charming boutique storefront and European flair.

What kind of skincare products are you using?  Do you stick to the same line, mix it up or go for something totally different each time?

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beauty – from the inside out

INNER BEAUTY is more relevant now than ever

so why are we still obsessed with outer beauty?
so why are we still so obsessed with outer beauty?

While we can always try to cover up our tiny flaws and imperfections with makeup correctors & concealers, and enhance our complexion with blush and bronzer, nothing beats a real lit from within healthy glow that comes from eating healthy foods, drinking lots of water and limiting alcohol intake.

It seems that our beauty routine lately is becoming a lot less traditional and a lot more ingestible. We don’t really need a lot of expensive night creams to do the trick if we live a relatively healthy lifestyle that includes exercise and lots of sleep. I believe in the arsenal of a common sense routine mixed with a few tried and true products. 

I want to introduce you to five of the latest beauty products on the market meant to make you more beautiful from the inside out  picks that are sure to blur the line between your kitchen cabinet and your vanity.

Starting with..1) Drinkable Hyaluronic Acid

Drinkable Hyaluronic Acid Spike your favorite drink with 2 teaspoons of this liquid hyaluronic acid to plump your complexion and keep skin hydrated. The Hyaluronic Molecule, Fountain $30
Spike your favorite drink with 2 teaspoons of this liquid hyaluronic acid to plump your complexion and keep skin hydrated.
The Hyaluronic Molecule, Fountain $30

2) Powdered Collagen

Mix a sachet of this marine-based powder with smoothies, coffee, water (or any other beverage of choice) to naturally boost collagen production and maintain healthy hair, skin and nails. Gratitude Package, Vida Glow $50
Mix a sachet of this marine-based powder with smoothies, coffee, water (or any other beverage of choice) to naturally boost collagen production and maintain healthy hair, skin and nails.
Gratitude Package, Vida Glow $50

3)  Drinkable Free Radical-Fighter

Drinkable Free Radical-Fighter This cocktail of organic coconut water, aloe vera and lemon myrtle hydrate the body from the inside-out to combat dry, dull skin, fine lines and also fights free-radical damage caused by environmental stressors. Inner Beauty Boost, The Beauty Chef $40
Drinkable Free Radical-Fighter
This cocktail of organic coconut water, aloe vera and lemon myrtle hydrate the body from the inside-out to combat dry, dull skin, fine lines and also fights free-radical damage caused by environmental stressors.
Inner Beauty Boost, The Beauty Chef $40

4) Skin-Perfecting Pills For Oily Skin

Skin-Perfecting Pills For Oily Skin 2 antioxidant and omega-infused capsules per day repair skin, boost hydration and help regulate oil production. It's also suitable for vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free diets. Vegan Omega 3-6-9 Supplements, Zelens $50

2 antioxidant and omega-infused capsules per day repair skin, boost hydration and help regulate oil production. It’s also suitable for vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free diets.
Vegan Omega 3-6-9 Supplements, Zelens $50

5) All-Around Beauty Booster

When mixed into a beverage, this powdered mix of raw vegetables, fruits, herbs, nuts, and seaweed increases collagen and silica production and hydrates and strengthens skin, hair and nails. Beauty Dust, Moon Juice $65
When mixed into a beverage, this powdered mix of raw vegetables, fruits, herbs, nuts, and seaweed increases collagen and silica production and hydrates and strengthens skin, hair and nails.
Beauty Dust, Moon Juice $65

I’m not promoting these products as I haven’t tried any of them and don’t intend to  – just that it’s interesting to find out how the market may be changing.  With so many things out there it’s hard to decide what to choose – you have to be selective.  I did come across a vegan chocolate bar that claims to slow the formation of wrinkles and sagging skin – hell, I’m all for that one!

Never mind the saying “you are what you eat”  – I’m changing it to “you are what you live” –  it’s much broader and more forgiving.

What do you think about that?

beauty: by GOSH, I really like these!

It’s really hard to pass up trying something new when you’re a lipstick addict.lipstick

I spotted, sampled and bought a tube of GOSH Velvet Touch Lipstick because the colour choices were so pretty. The company, based in Denmark, is a young and innovative cosmetics firm that also sells bath, body and fragrance products.   Founded in 1945 as a pharmaceutical company, GOSH quickly moved into the cosmetics industry and now their products are sold in more than 75 countries throughout the world.  I found it at Shoppers Drug Mart.20150403_125955

Review: due to a high concentration of colour pigments the lipsticks give an intense and lasting colour. Contains Vitamin-E to soften and help protect against free radicals. Packaging is nice.

Price: $14.00

Have you tried anything from this brand?

 

beauty – find it everywhere

20150401_112855What never escapes my attention is all kinds of beauty products from makeup to skincare to candles & accessories.  I might not buy everything I see but there is  enjoyment in looking at pretty objects of desire.  The different smells, the packaging, the discovery of something new and the pure beauty of it all.

Spotted today on Main Street:20150401_11313920150401_113255
These sweet sterling silver plated jewelled hair-pins from Lucky Feather.  Available at front and company  3742 + 3746 Main Street.  $9

Some temptations that smell good enough to eat – at Barefoot Contessa – 3715 Main Street.

Maria Evora
Maria Evora body lotions and soaps from SPAIN
Blithe Bunnt
Blithe & Bunny – handmade in the USA (honey almond)
ILLUME coconut milk mango
ILLUME coconut milk mango

20150401_115734

Go be Lovely – USA

Roberts Rose Cleansers & Toners from Italy

Raising the bar – while you’re there you should try the latte & lemon bar at Coco et Olive – 3707 Main St.  The very best lemon bar!20150401_121652

Be dashing, bold and fearless

Photos: d. king

Beauty biz – a visit to Kiehl’s

20141022_110623

Kiehl’s on Robson St., Vancouver draws inspiration from Kiehl’s New York east village roots as an old–world neighborhood apothecary developed by innovative pharmacists and herbologists.
Kiehl’s has an unorthodox marketing approach, exceptionally large male clientele base (they have a section dedicated to men) and its products’ simple and straightforward packaging.20141022_110630

I remember visiting the original location in New York (they have a Norman Rockwell Holiday Window) where I bought my first bottle of ultra-facial moisturizer and recently on Robson I sampled the new multi-corrective cream. L O V E at first sample!20141022_110707

There’s something else I like about Kiehl’s besides their skincare products:

In 2010, Kiehl’s introduced the Kiehl’s LifeRide for amfAR, an annual, week-long motorcycle ride through major U.S. cities that includes multiple high-profile events at Kiehl’s stores along the way to raise consumer and media awareness about amfAR and the fight against AIDS. In the last four years, LifeRide has raised over $400,000 for 20141022_110609amfAR.

 

Super Multi-Corrective Cream Key Ingredients:

Jasmonic Acid

Inspired by “signal molecules” secreted by plants that begins a self-repair process – corrects wrinkles and fine lines, loss of suppleness and elasticity.                                                                                                                                                                                            Beech Tree Extract

Sugar extracted from Beech Tree which helps improve skins overall firmness.

Fragmented Hyaluronic Acid

A power booster, discovered to enhance Jasmonic Acid’s efficacy, super charging the improvement in skin elasticity and smoothness.

 Have you tried their products?

Photos: d. king

 

 

Beauty biz – beauty you can EAT

Edible beauty products…It was just a matter of time edibledon’t you think so?  After all, the beauty industry is HUGE.  There are natural products and then there are these which I believe falls into the natural category…..even more so because they are good enough to eat.  Hmmm…I haven’t tried any of these, not sure how they taste but thought you’d like to know about them.  As seen on Style Bistro.

We all know true beauty comes from within. But great skin doesn’t hurt, either. With all of the thousands of different products available, we’ve grown accustomed to lathering, lotioning and glopping on. But what if you didn’t have to? What if you could just take a pill and fight anti-aging or the sun’s rays? A new series of products hitting the market is aiming to do just that. From drinkable sunscreen to pills for your skin, ingestible beauty products have been popping up on our radar these days.

edible1For those concerned with anti-aging (like who isn’t?), drinkable collagen might be the answer. Reserveage’s Collagen Replenish ($16) is a flavorless powder that’s meant to be mixed in with water or juice. The powder contains collagen peptides, hyaluronic acid and vitamin C to supposedly fight collagen deterioration and free-radical damage.

And if putting on sunscreen is so last summer for you, perhaps drinkable SPF is more your style. Osmosis edible2Harmonized Water UV Neutralizer ($30) is a liquid dietary supplement that helps protect against sun damage, thanks to its vibration-frequency technology that’s supposed to neutralize UV radiation.

edible3And if skin brightening is more your style, Equitance has a Skin Radiance Dietary Supplement ($50) meant to support skin brightening. These pills are designed to improve skin’s vitality with a balance of natural ingredients such as grape-seed extract, yucca-wood extract, hesperidin and egg shell membrane, which contains L-cystine (an amino acid popular for illumination).

But what do you think?

Would you ever try ingestible beauty products?

 

Source: stylebistro.com

 

beauty biz – Rose Day Cream = LOVE

What’s in a name?  That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet – Romeo and Juliet ( Juliet argues that the names of things do not matter, only what things “are”).rose1

Product Review – Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream 

I’ve used the cleansing milk and now I’m addicted to this product.  It smells like……roses!

Soothes and protects

A rich, luxurious daily moisturizer. Soothing rose ingredients nurture and renew sensitive, dry and weather-damaged skin. Protects skin against dryness and soothes red, irritated skin and couperose.

  • Protects the delicate outer layer of the skin against dryness and irritation
  • Avocado oil with extracts of rose petal and rose hip soothe and renew red, irritated, sensitive skin
  • Seals in moisture to help prevent dryness
  • Thirty rose flowers go into each tube of Rose Day Cream.
  • Used as directed, Rose Day Cream lasts approximatley 3 months

Dr. Hauschka has been in existence since 1967 and has gained an impressive celebrity following, including Julia Roberts, Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cameron Diaz, Jack Nicholson, and now The Girl who would be King.

Hollywood Tips you want to know:

Actress Julia Roberts, plagued like many of her colleagues by stressed skin due to having to constantly apply and remove make-up, discovered Dr. Hauschka’s Rose Cream in her make-up artist’s cosmetics case.  She swears by the cream because it stimulates the skin’s own resources and does not cause allergies. When Julia Roberts was asked, yet again, at a press conference what was behind her radiant complexion, she whispered into the microphone: ”Dr. Hauschka.” And soon Cate Blanchett was bathing in Dr. Hauschka’s lavender bath oil, Madonna underwent a two-hour Dr. Hauschka treatment in the chic New York Sanctuary Spa, and the whole world wanted the rose cream. At Sephora in New York, it is to be found right next to the Kiehl products.  

The special thing: Most of the medicinal plants used are not only grown under strict organic conditions in the company’s own garden, they are also processed according to an 80-year-old recipe which respects nature’s rhythm: light and dark, movement and rest, heat and cold.

Shhhhh….Here is a short list (so I’m told) of who uses what:

Stars that love the entire Dr.Hauschka line include:

  • Annette Bening
  • Elle Macpherson
  • Julia Roberts
  • Maggie Gyllenhaal
  • Naomi Watts
  • Rebecca Romijn
  • Robert Downey Jr

 Other celebs covet particular products. They include:

Celebrity / Product
Amy Poehler – Lavender Body Oil  
Brad Pitt – Lip Care Stick  
Chloe Sevigny – Neem Hair Oil  
Jennifer Aniston – Moisturizing Day Cream  
Katie Holmes – Cleansing Cream / Facial Toner  
Keri Russell – Neem Hair Oil
Kerry Washington – Rejuvenating Mask  
Kirsten Dunst – Blackthorn Body Oil  
Madonna – Rose Day Cream / Facial Toner  
Martha Stewart – Regenerating ProductsNicole Ritchie – Neem Hair OilNicole Kidman – Neem Hair Oil / Rose Day Cream

Nora Ephron – Lemon Bath

Rachel Hunter – Normalizing Day Oil

Rachel McAdams – Rose Day Cream

Rosie O’Donnell – Rose Day Cream

Vivienne Tam (designer) – Revitalizing Eye Cream

How About You –  Have you tried any of these products?  If so, which do you personally recommend?

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

beauty – what’s new at Nordstrom

Keeping up with the Customers!   Nordstrom Inc. is giving its beauty departments a fresher, more contemporary look designed to give customers more individualized ways to shop.

photo:
photo: Stefanie Keenan

This is good news because what I don’t like about buying cosmetics at most department stores is 1) the hard sale 2) feeling that the sales girl (who works on commission) from the line that you just wasted an hour of her time talking about is watching you go from one counter to the next to check out the competitors. 3) too many other distractions in a department store – stuff like shoes,  clothing & accessories.  Usually I tend to gravitate towards the smaller independent boutiques for most things in general. But this might make me change my mind for a time or two.

Unveiled at stores in the California shopping centers (The Americana at Brand in Glendale and The Sh20ops at Mission Viejo) and expanding to a total of nine stores by January, the most dramatic modifications are to color cosmetics areas, where customers are encouraged to shop how they want, whether it is on their own by opening drawers brimming with makeup or with guidance from staff dedicated to specific brands. Nordstrom is also simplifying beauty shopping by breaking down its vast selection by trend and key product no matter what brand, and offering shoppers access to beauty concierges, trial sizes and applications, consultations and other services so they can more fully experience the products.

    photo: Stefanie Keenan
lengthen, volumize, curl + define.  I want ALL 3 in 1! photo: Stefanie Keenan

The refreshed approach recognizes that the traditional behind-the-counter model of selling beauty products doesn’t work for everyone. Acknowledging Sephora and e-commerce have impacted shopping for beauty products, Pete Nordstrom, president of merchandising for Nordstrom, said, “The best ingredient to success is to be reflective of what the customers are interested in. Customers evolve and change over time, not only in regards to the product, but how they like to be served. In the beauty segment, there is an opportunity to serve the customer in a different and a better way. We have to allow our stores to be able to evolve to be able to appeal to customers, not just to legacy customers, but to our new customers.”

Nordstrom will soon be coming to Canada.

Taken from an article by Rachel Brown for WWD

Beauty : Lip Service

Never wear a discontinued color again! 

Bite Lip Lab
Bite Lip Lab

With Bite Lip Lab it’s pretty easy to find your perfect lipstick match. 

bitelip2Facing up: Lipstick is a pretty important (possibly ‘the’ most important) part to perfecting our makeup look.  Otherwise we wouldn’t be Eating on average 4-7 Pounds of Lipstick in our Lifetimes – would we?

It can’t be all too healthy but we do it anyway – because we’re rather lipstick obsessedbitelip3

How many times have you come across that ‘perfect’ color and then the next time you go to buy it the company has decided to suddenly  discontinued it.  And you have to wonder – were you the only person buying it?  This can be very upsetting – as many colors as there are it’s not that easy trying to find a great shade to suit us.  So don’t throw away your last tube just yet.

You can take in an old or discontinued lipstick to Bite Lip Lap & have them re-create it for you.  They can make a custom made lipstick using a magic lipstick machine in just 7 minutes – which involves melting down the different bullets of lipstick (they look like chocolate truffles!), adding a scent (like cherry, violet, peppermint, or superfruit), pouring the mix into lipstick molds and allowing the formula to harden on a cold plate.  It’s as simple at that!  Then all you have to do is buy two. Looking for the perfect red for a night out?  How incredible is that?

Bite Beauty Lip Lab, 174 Prince Street, at Thompson Street (646-484-6111)

You can always stop by in between visits to museums & art galleries but to some, this alone might be worth the visit to New York.

IN THE RED:

A 2012 study found that waitresses who wore lipstick got higher tips from men, and scientific research from 2010 found that women wearing red lipstick received the “most prolonged gazes” from men. And yet we’ve know plenty of guys who say they simply hate the stuff.  We can’t please everyone.

 Designer Bill Blass once said : “When in Doubt Wear Red.”  What exactly did he mean?

Red lipstick is a source of strength,’ says Poppy King, creator of Lipstick Queen. ‘You put it on and suddenly you feel more capable than you did without it.’

Consider Jean Harlow’s pointed red pout in the 1930s, Veronika Lake’s in the 1940s and Marilyn Monroe’s in the 1950s. None of these actresses was known for playing the girlish ingénue. They were women with overtly feminine power. They were knowing.

The lure of looking feminine but remaining powerful was such a glorious notion, it’s little wonder women started to use red lipstick as a tool to communicate their own self-possession.

The thing about red lipstick – it’s a beautiful case of chicken and egg. It may require confidence to wear, but confidence can actually be a result of putting on red lipstick – and no one needs to know which comes first.

 

Beauty – in the BAG

I really love Japanese skin care products.

002The Japanese are known for being steps ahead when it comes to technology and trends, and the same goes for their skin care. Japanese skin care products are some of the best in the world.

Many of the products are not easily found here in North America. Of course we already know about Shiseido, Shu Uemura (we swear by their eyelash curler) &  Clé de Peau (the Concealer is a perennial makeup artist favorite).

A friend recently returned from a trip to Japan and brought me this little bag containing *rice bran extract which is used to hydrate and tone skin.  It’s from a store called “Yojiya” in Kyoto (the area where I once followed Geishas).  The Japanese name is Nukabukuro and it’s a face/body wash in a small cotton bag with an excellent cleansing & moisturizing effect when you massage your skin with it. The rice bran extract is filtered through the cotton bag which gradually moisturizes your skin while the gentle massaging effect of the cotton fiber helps to tone your skin texture.  First you must run the bag under warm water until it fully absorbs and you keep using it until it’s all gone. *Rice Bran Extract is a natural botanical rich in vitamins and antioxidants.

Also, the best blotting papers ever – of course, the Japanese invented them.  Centuries ago, in the early 1600’s, the women and men in Japan discovered the benefits of oil blotting paper for keeping their complexions smooth, flawless and oil free.  An essential item to keep in my handbag.

Do you have a favorite Japanese skincare product?