Category Archives: expert advice

The Number One Skin Resolution for 2019!

You’ve tried it all in 2018 (and the many years past, I’m sure) : exfoliating more, adding a serum, and investing in revolutionary skincare tools (Jade Rollers and Microneedling anyone??!?!). And they have all worked for you – some better than others – yet, you still haven’t achieved that amazingly unfiltered “filtered looking” skin you so helplessly lust after.

Skin ain’t easy, baby. But 2019 can be different. It really, truly can if you just embrace this one resolution today :


Don’t worry – I’m TOTALLY guilty of obsessing over my skin too. I’ve spent years coming up with extensive routines, switching out and throwing away money on entire makeup wardrobes, and trying the most absurd DIY concoctions. AND DON’T GET ME STARTED on the amount of picking at blemishes I have done.

And yes, my skin has benefited from a few tweaks here and there … but it also suffered when I became to hyper focused on a pimple, or overly concerned with a temporary cluster of congestion. In the end, I was so obsessed with getting the perfect complexion that I was stressing myself out; and what does stress lead to??


Rebellious skin : zits from increased hormonal activity, redness and blotchiness from anxiety, fine lines from over analyzing the growth rate of the smallest blemish ever.

So this year, resolve to better your skin by paying less attention to it:

Pick a morning routine and stick with it.
Pick and evening routine and stick with it.
Pick a skin treat (sheet masks, facials, cosmetic enhancement) and schedule occasional indulgences in it.

Allow your skin to “miss you” a little, and feel the love whenever you circle back to it!

Have a great 2019 everyone!

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What you should really be looking at when determining your skin type …

Whenever you hit up a Sephora or a beauty department sales associate looking for a new foundation or the latest moisturizer the first thing they will ask is what’s your skin type? This is without fail … and with good intention because really, they just want to make sure you’re getting the right product for your skin type and needs. However, if you aren’t a regular at a dermatologist’s office or a facial bar … you might not know yourself!

Image : Jacks Beauty Department, Berlin

Sales associates and makeup artists are trained to help you determine this but not without asking you a few questions that only you would know. So the real question here is … do you know the answers?

If you’re trying to determine your skin type before making a big skincare purchase, try to look and find the answers to these five important questions :

When you wake up in the morning, does your skin feel :

  1. dry and tight
  2. oily and heavy
  3. the same as when you fell asleep

Ten minutes after cleansing and moisturizing, your skin feels like :

  1. you need more moisturizer
  2. you put on too much moisturizer
  3. you can no longer feel the moisturizer but also feel fresh and clean

When you apply your makeup :

  1. you are unable to get a nice smooth application and powders feel like they are dragging on your skin
  2. you are unable to get liquid or cream makeup to stay in place and it slides around too much
  3. you get a nice even application and don’t have too much trouble with makeup

By midday, your makeup looks :

  1. patchy, and needs some adjustments
  2. shiny, and like it has disappeared or has started to migrate to other areas of the face
  3. the same, but you might need to add some lipgloss

By the end of the day, your skin feels like it is :

  1. inflamed, irritated and/or itchy
  2. greasy, shiny and in need of a good cleanse
  3. tired and ready to be cleansed, but otherwise fine

If you answered mostly 1′s, chances are you’re dry or dehydrated. Mainly 2′s, you’re a candidate for an oiler t-zone. Strictly 3′s, and you’re what most would consider normal.

Knowing the answers to these questions will lead you to making better choices in your skincare and makeup products, and in the end a much happier you with respect to your purchases! But keep this in mind – rarely is anyone just one thing. In fact, it’s more common to be a combination skin type! So, when taking this quick questionnaire keep in mind what your second answer would be if your first answer didn’t exist. Let the makeup artist or sales associate know your answers and see what they recommend!

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getting married? this prep trick will ensure flawless makeup!

In the hustle and bustle of getting married, it’s easy for a bride to put her beauty needs on the back burner as she nears the wedding date! Lack of sleep, poor nutrition, and lots of additional stress combined can create a complexion nightmare come the walk down the aisle and that’s why the common advice for brides is to sleep more, drink more water or eat well, and to delegate wedding day tasks! But there is one piece of advice that brides rarely get that is really important to bridal beauty :


While its always a good thing that a bride maintains a steady cleanse and moisturize routine throughout, it isn’t enough to provide an even, smooth “canvas” for your bridal makeup. Exfoliating at least once weekly can resurface the skin in a really good way by removing dead skin cells and dry patches, revealing a brighter and more even complexion. The more even the texture, the easier your foundation, blush and setting powders glide over the skin for a more polish and blended appearance. Almost like you were photoshopped brushed!

Exfoliating regularly is also important if you want that fresh, dewy makeup glow. If your skin is dull, dry or patchy your makeup artist will need to use plenty of product from corrector to powder to mimic the look which in the end won’t feel dewy or fresh at all. Basically, think of it this way : the less imperfections or blemishes you have the less makeup your artist will need to apply letting more of you shine through!

There are plenty of DIY recipes on the good old Internet for you to try and it can be as simple as some brown sugar and coconut oil scrubbed on once weekly. Affordable products are available at your local beauty boutique, or if you have the budget for it, seeing a professional once a month can do wonders! The key takeaway here is that its time to step it up a bit and introduce one more step to your weekly routine. The payoff will be tenfold when you’re in your white gown!

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15 days to better skin : choose the right protection …

For most of this guide, we’ve focused on repairing and renewing the skin because the key is to get your skin back into shape. But what happens once you meet that goal?

Day 13 : January 13

Protect your skin.

Today, I want you to grab your tablet (or laptop, or smartphone) and start researching on your options for SPF. This is especially important if you’ve been relying on a moisturizer or foundation base that claims to have SPF included. You need a standalone SPF if you really want to protect your skin. While the SPF included in your products can help to protect, it’s not their #1 goal. An SPF-specific product is your best bet for fighting off increased and future sun damage and aging.

Before you think “okay – I’ll just pick up some Coppertone” … no no … plenty of cosmetic brands have SPF that will fit a bit better with your daily skin and beauty routine. They are lightweight in texture and feel, making it much easier to wear day in and day out. Choose one with an SPF of at least 30 or higher. You’ll want to apply your SPF at the end of your skincare routine, but before makeup.

Never forego sun protection. Even in the winter months, your skin needs its SPF. Be very diligent about it to prevent a plethora of skin issues down the road.

Have fun in the sun!

TIP : Ask for samples and try them all out under your makeup. While all may protect equally, some might create a better base for your makeup than others.

HOMEWORK : If your budget allows, you can pick up an extra SPF product in stick form. You can stick this in your purse and reapply as needed throughout the day especially when you’re outside more than expected.

Posted in be beautiful, be fresh, beauty, better skin guide, crystal microdermabrasion, expert advice, face, facials, low level light therapy, tips, toronto, treatments | Comments Off

15 days to better skin : book a facial …

Experts say that a the best way to reach a goal is to set small goals and reward yourself each time you reach that goal. Well, I’ve given you a 15-day guide to follow and you’re at 10 day. And I know you are good for five more, so today, I want you to set your reward for the end of this 15 days … and enjoy it.

Day 10 : January 10

Book a facial.

Whether you book just a facial or a full day at the spa, that’s up to you … but just make sure it includes a bit of pampering for your new skin. It could be a simple facial with extractions or a full on treatment complete with a peel but do your research and only book in for what you’re truly comfortable with.  This includes budget and time wise too.

Again, the key here is that it’s a reward. So treat it like one. The only stipulation is you make your appointment for 6 days from now – AFTER you complete your 15 day guide.

Go ahead – make that call!

TIP : If you don’t go for a facial regularly, ask friends who do for recommendations. Right down to the package they buy and the skin specialist they see.  You can’t go wrong with great recommendations.

HOMEWORK : Mark your appointment day in the calendar, and get motivated to finish up the 15-day guide to better skin.

BONUS : Want to book a skin treatment with us? Well, just give us a call and mention this guide, and book in our 75-minute session for just $99 plus HST!

Posted in acne, be beautiful, be fresh, beauty, better skin guide, cleanse, expert advice, face, facials, natural, organic, skin, skincare, tips, toronto, treatments | Comments Off

15 days to better skin : do a spot check …

I know it’s winter and the sun is just barely peeking out half the day, but that doesn’t mean that the outdoor elements are doing any damage to your skin. It’s a real no-brainer that you should protect your skin all year round with SPF, so make sure you have that in your routine snowfall or sun! In the meantime, let’s do a skin health check.

Day 5 : January 5


You know those horrific mirrors that magnify every.single.detail? Yes we do hate them on the regular, but today it might just come in handy. Whether you have one or not, I want you to arm yourself with a nice sized hand mirror of any kind and park yourself in a spot in your home with lots of bright light – natural is best.

Be sure your skin is completely clean and free of makeup. If you wear bangs, pin them off your forehead.

Now, you know how close you hold your mirror when you’re trying to tweeze your brows?  Well, you want to bring your mirror thatclose for this DIY examination of your skin. Starting from one side of your face at the forehead, slowly start to inspect every area of your complexion, until you reach your décolletage. You’ll want to take note of every imperfection that is NOT a regular pimple or wrinkle and ask yourself the following questions :

  • Is that mark a sunspot or just dirt? If the answer is sunspot or discolouration, is it old or is it new? If it’s old – has it gotten darker or bigger since you last remember? If it’s new, when was the last time you recall NOT having it there?
  • Do I have any new moles popping up? What are the edges of the mole like? Is the shape irregular? Is the colour irregular?
  • Do my pre-existing moles / birthmarks look the same or different? Have they changed in colour or size? Has the border of my existing moles changed?
  • Do I have any new rough or dry patches? Are there any areas where the skin is different in texture from the rest of my face and neck?

If any of your answers to any of the questions above, even just one, confirms that a mole, birthmarks, or sunspot seems irregular or agressive – then I would suggest that you speak to your GP as soon as possible to get a referral to a dermatologist. Sun damage and skin cancer is NO joke, and the earlier you speak with a professional about it – the better. For any moles that seem problematic, you can speak with the dermatologist about your options for removal.

Our skin is so complex it needs the proper attention. Take the time to do it today, and avoid health issues in the future.

No go go Inspector Gadget!

TIP : We love selfies, don’t we? Locate a few good close-up selfies – unfiltered preferably – and try to match up your moles and spots.  If you selfie a lot on Instagram, you should have plenty of images that date back and you can trackback a mole that seems to have become irregular.

HOMEWORK : Study your genealogy by asking your parents a few questions about health history in the family – obviously focusing on skin issues. It’s good to know if any ailments seem to be genetic, in which your dermatologist would like to know!

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