SOS! cold weather saviours for your skin + beyond.

For us, winter is. a. struggle. As the temperature dips (which it seems to be doing earlier than normal this year), our bodies – and skin in particular – really feel its drying effect. Over the years, we’ve finally come to the realization that our routines need to change to account for the change in temperature.  The following tips have helped us beat the chill in the past and we hope they help you out this winter too.


hydrate from the inside out.

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Drink lots of water: This is true all year round, but especially so in the dry winter months. We like to start every single day with a glass of water immediately to get our bodies in the habit of drinking water for the day.  Keeping a water bottle at your desk is also key and we’ve found that the bigger the bottle, the more we drink.  Our favourite bottle, Corkcicle, is actually meant for wine (shocker), so it fits 750mL easily and keeps the temperature exactly where you like it for hours.  We love the copper bottle, available online for $37.95.   

Swap coffee for tea: Another tip is to kick the coffee habit in the winter months, or at least substitute your second coffee each day for a green tea.  Green tea does not have quite as much caffeine as coffee but there’s some evidence to suggest that green tea is less dehydrating than coffee. 

Eat hydrating foods: Opt for foods that pack more hydration in the winter months. Read: eat your veggies. Vegetables like cucumber, celery, and iceberg lettuce are great for hydrating and come with obvious other benefits from a dietary perspective.  If you prefer fruit, watermelon and strawberries are good sources of water as well.


use a humidifier.

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Humidifiers are a lifesaver, and they don’t need to be an industrial-sized machine to have an effect.  Our favourite humidifier, made by Objecto and available for $169.99 at The Bay, doubles as an essential oil diffuser. We keep this diffuser running at home and while we sleep.  To humidify the air 24/7, at work we use the Fancii Portable Humifier, which is small and easily hooks up to a plastic water bottle as a water source.  This little guy is available on Amazon for $29.99.



switch up your facecare routine accordingly.

We spoke to our friends at NIU BODY, which is a Toronto-based company that produces completely natural facecare products at an affordable price point, for their top winter skincare tips.  Their first suggestion was to incorporate an oil-based moisture source into your skincare routine.  A product like their Hydrate Facial Serum ($36 online) is a customer favourite for this.  In addition, the ladies at NIU BODY also recommend introducing a lip scrub, like their Sugar Lip Polish ($13 online), to exfoliate dead skin and soften your pout.  They advise against using any overly drying products in the winter months, especially those that are alcohol-based, and using a hydrating face mask 1-2x per week.  Our favourite tip? Don’t forget your SPF in the winter months! Harmful rays are still at work in the winter, so you’ll want to make sure you’re protecting your skin year-round.  Tip: You can also purchase NIU BODY products at select retailers in the city and beyond.


but it’s not all about your face.

For your body: Don’t forget about the skin on the rest of your body! Our favourite winter ritual is incorporating an oil into bath time.  The best (and most fun) product we’ve found is Rocky Mountain Soap Co.’s Minty Eucalyptus Bath Bomb ($5.95 in store or online), which is contains coconut oil and cocoa butter to moisturize your skin right in the tub.  The eucalyptus scent also helps to clear breathing passages for that inevitable winter cold virus…

For your hands: We load up on hand cream during the winter and keep one on the night table, one in the purse, and one on the desk.  Our favourite on-the-go cream is Rocky Mountain Soap Co.’s Omega 3 Hand Cream in Lemongrass ($11.95 in store or online), which is small enough to toss in your bag/store on your desk.  For nighttime, we prefer Aveda’s hand relief ($34 for 4.2 fl. oz. online).

For your hair: Static, limp, just generally sad looking winter hair.  We fall victim to it every year.  Most of us don’t change our haircare routine in the winter despite winter hair symptoms.  Try incorporating a hydrating mask into your haircare routine.  We like Aveda’s Dry Remedy Moisturizing Mask ($50 online).  Use this mask once per week (or more/less depending on your hair) for 5 minutes at a time.  Tip: Tie your hair in a low bun while treating with the mask to prevent it from rinsing out prematurely in the shower.

like that? try this. cheap alternatives for your favourite beauty products.

We love a good cult favourite beauty product (they are, after all, cult favourites for a reason) but we don't always love the associated price tag.  So, we went out in search of the best dupes for the most buzzed about, best-selling beauty products and trends on the market. Whether you shop "cheap" exclusively or like to balance your splurges with steals, we think you'll find some great alternatives below.

like Le Labo's Santal 33? try Miu Miu's L'eau Bleue.

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Chances are you've walked by someone on the streets of Toronto wearing Le Labo's Santal 33 scent.  Like most, we love this musky fragrance for daytime and nighttime alike and we're seriously into the easy-to-use-and-carry rollerball trend.  What we don't love about Le Labo's liquid balm is the price tag of $110.  Cue Miu Miu's L'eau Bleue.  This rollerball is offered at a fraction of the price and offers the same earthy, musky notes as Santal 33.  You can purchase Miu Miu's L'eau Bleue at Sephora for $35.


like NARS' Orgasm Illuminator? try NYX's Born to Glow!

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The "glowed up" look is here to stay, and we're all for that.  Gone are the days of a matte or powdery skin finish and given that summer is here, we wanted to find an alternative to one of our favourite illuminator's - NARS' Orgasm Illuminator ($39).  NYX's Born to Glow! proved to be an fantastic substitute.  The beauty world is raving about NYX in general as a quality alternative to pricier make-up brands and at $11, this illuminator is an affordable option to give you that healthy glow.  The product is lightweight, easy to use, and comes in a four different options (we prefer gleam).  You can purchase NYX's Born to Glow! at any NYX store or online.


like Sunday Riley's Good Genes? try The Ordinary's Lactic Acid Formulation.

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Ahhh Good Genes, how we love you but hate the fact that you cost $200 for 50mL.  This product was introduced to us over a year ago and we admit we're guilty in restocking it in our cabinet when we run out - it is the ultimate all-in-one lactic acid-based product for dealing with dullness, fine lines, and dark spots.  There are few things that could lead us astray from this Sunday Riley favourite but when proposed with an alternative that costs $6.70 (no, we didn't miss a zero, it really is under $10) we just had to try it.  The Ordinary's Lactic Acid formula is an almost astonishingly cheap alternative to Good Genes though you'll have to order it online and pay $5 to ship it.


like Living proof's Perfect hair Day dry shampoo? try Dove's Refresh+Care dry shampoo.

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Whether you just crushed your workout or are flat out too lazy to wash your hair, dry shampoo is the ultimate alternative to combat the oily appearance and odour of day (or days) old hair.  Living proof's Perfect hair Day dry shampoo ($30) is one of our favourites because it really makes our hair feel cleaner.  But, we resort to dry shampoo so often that we were going through bottles of the product monthly and the cost was adding up, so we decided to try a cheaper drug store alternative. The Refresh+Care dry shampoo by Dove is a viable, less expensive option though we did find the smell to be a bit overpowering and it didn't provide that same clean feeling that Living proof does.  We use a combo of the two, to balance a splurge with a steal depending on the occasion.  You can pick up Dove's Refresh+Care at any major drugstore, but Walmart retails the product for $4.48.


like Chanel's Le Vernis in Verde Pastello? try Essie's polish in Empower Mint.

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Pastels are in this season and it seems that almost every major nail polish producer is coming out with a fun spin on these spring-y shades.  We have to admit that we aren't nail polish snobs and if we weren't gifted Chanel's Verde Pastello nail polish, we probably never would have paid $32 for it.  That being said, we love the sea-foam green pastel shade so we took to the drug store shelves to scour the perfect dupe and came out with Essie's Empower Mint from their Summer 2018 collection.  Essie's version is a little bit lighter than Chanel's but it still provides the same on-trend pastel look at around $11.  Pick it up at your local drug store or order it online.


like Fenty Beauty's Fairy Bomb? try Lush's Shimmy Shimmy.

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Full disclosure, we have never tried Fenty Beauty's Fairy Bomb, but that's because we don't want to spend $52 on a body shimmer.  Instead, we discovered Lush Cosmetics' Shimmy Shimmy product.  What we like about this product is that it also serves as a moisturizer while giving us that shimmery, shiny body glow.  This product is packed with coco and shea butter and practically melts on your skin.  It also costs only $8.95 at any Lush Cosmetics location or online - what a steal!

summer must have products

It's that time of year again! The days are long and the patios in TO are full, as summer kicks into full-gear.

With that in mind, we've rounded up our beauty favourites for summer 2018.  Whether you're a sun worshipper or hater (or rather, the sun hates you) we've got you covered with the best products for a day on the lake, a beer on the patio, or whatever your summer jam might be.

#1. catch some rays

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Bali Body Pineapple Tanning Oil, $29.95

The Aussie-made hit Bali Body released this new product and we loooove it.  Not only does it help you get a deep tan, it's ultra hydrating and smells delicious.  For best results, we like to apply generously every 2-3 hours for a deep glow.  Keep in mind that this product does not protect against the sun, so we like to apply a broad spectrum sunscreen (like La Roche Posay's SPF 60) as a base prior to oiling up.


#2. fake the glow

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St. Tropez Tanning Essentials Self Tan Dark Bronzing Mousse, $54

St. Tropez is a cult favourite in the world of self tanners for a reason.  This lightweight mousse claims to tailor to your specific skin tone, and we found that to be true.  It's super lightweight and easy to apply and lasted for about 5 days.  If you've never used self tanner before, your should start with the original product, the Classic Bronzing Mousse.


#3. mist yourself

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Sephora Collection Hydrating Mist in Coconut Water, $9

We all love a good sun sesh, but if you're anything like us you hate the overheating and dry feeling that comes with it.  We introduced this cool mist into our sun regimen to help us keep our temperature down and give a quick boost of hydration while catching some rays.  The drawback? It's limited edition, so stock up while you can!


#4. protect that face

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Shiseido Urban Environment Oil-Free UV Protector, $40

We searched far and wide for the best face sunscreen and we think we've found it.  At SPF 42, this Shiseido UV Protector is a miracle.  It is super lightweight and doesn't interfere at all with make-up, meaning you can make it part of your morning regimen each day without feeling oily or sunscreen-y (we know, that's not a word).  Best to mix it with your usual moisturizer, as it in itself isn't ultra hydrating.


#5. don't forget the lips!

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Jack Black Moisture Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25, $10.50

Lip sunburns - they're a thing.  While most of us are great at applying sunscreen to our bodies, we often neglect our lips.  We went through a lot of different lip balms with SPF that left our lips looking white and greasy before trying this wonder product.  It's SPF 25 and comes in 6 flavours -  shea butter is our favourite.


#6. show your mane some love

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Shu Uemura Silk Bloom Restorative Treatment, $66

It's no secret that summer is hard on your hair with the heat and humidity.  In addition, as we sweat in the summer months, we're tempted to wash our hair more frequently, which can spell disaster for our locks.  We like to implement a hair mask into our hair routine in the summer and this Shu Uemura treatment is just what the doctor ordered.  We apply it once per week and sometimes use it as a leave in on extra dry days.