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Playing the Beauty Long Game

By Beauty, Makeup, Self Development, Self Love, Uncategorized



We live in a world where we can download answers to (almost) anything in seconds, order food and have it in minutes, speed dating, “there’s an app for that”, surgeries and procedures for almost any change we want and while constantly looking though the veil of social media where everyone’s life, body, husband, work, vacation etc seems perfect…those quick fixes get incredibly appealing.  Lemme tell you, if it looks to good to be true, it probably is.

Start slow with baby steps.  Fall in love with the process and yourself.  Like planning ritual bath evenings – it doesn’t have to be expensive either, it just takes a bit of planning and creativity.

I used to be a freelance makeup artist in Toronto and would often work for brands in large fancy schmancy department stores.  The women I would help were usually older, had a lot of money and would have typically worn a lot of makeup at least every day for most of their lives.  Their skin was (typically) very dry, thin, crepey and their mentality was the “needed” products like addicts.  Then I moved to the country where I had my wee beauty store and served a very different market, still the same age but farmers wives, women who worked in the city, mothers of three… rarely wore makeup and it was usually a low priority.  Their skin was plumper, had more life and was way better in general.  Makeup isn’t bad, but take breaks, give your skin some love, eat well and know that makeup isn’t life, use it if and when you want to, it’s a tool for some.  I’d rather see a lip balmed smile over a perfectly lined red lip scowl annnny day of the week.

I remember coming back from some retreats that really fed my soul.  Like my yoga teacher training, it was a month of yoga at least four hours a day, sunshine – hello a bit of a tan!  And the most incredible clean food.  I’ve never looked better in my life.  EVERYone said how incredible and young I looked and I wasn’t wearing heels or dressed up, my hair was never that done and it was, most of the time, without any makeup.  I beamed happiness, I was healthy, confident, more self aware and felt such an inner calm I was more present to listen to what others had to say.  That was my prettiest self.  Of course it starts to slip, in my ideal life I would have a month away like that at least once a year *fingers crossed for one day*.  And then people would question if maybe I had an aging portrait of myself in my attic…


  • DIY products – just by purchasing a base amount of ingredients – there are so many things you can make!  From Body scrubs, to oils, teeth whitening treatment, balms, insect repellent… oodles of options
  • Eat well.  I know I know, you’ve heard it before but you are what you eat.  Try and be clean, organic and as local as you can.
  • Take a Gua Sha or face roller class (or watch YouTube vids) to learn the proper techniques of a good self face massage – Gua Sha is a gem stone curved paddle which helps with muscle, joint pain, self with a bit of a natural facelift and can also benefit the immune system and reduce inflammation.
  • Dry brushing
  • Yoga and meditation – So important to have a calm mind.  Self awareness is key for living a happy life.  And c’mon, stress wrinkles aren’t fun.
  • Acupuncture
  • Naturapothy
  • Do things just for you.  Seriously.  It isn’t selfish, you can’t pour from an empty cup.  Do what fills your soul and makes you happy, your friends and family deserve you and your best, right?
  • Say no – nicely, but if you don’t feel like going to that thing of Friday, just bow out, be honest.  It’s ok.
  • A great support system.  If you leave your friends drained or feeling bad about yourself… check in, go there, ask yourself why and if you still want these people in your life or if you can shift the energy to a better place.
  • Stare at the stars, go for walks without your phone, wander down streets you’ve never been on, be present and open
  • Smile…better yet, laugh often.  Find those people, those circumstances and laugh your ass off as much as you can.
  • Love you.  You deserve nothing less, love you first.

I hope you liked these ideas!  If you have any to add, shoot me an email or find me on INSTAGRAM – I’d love to hear them



Gimme Some Lip

By Beauty, Makeup, Uncategorized
Holiday Red

Seeing Red.

Nothing says a holiday look like a red lip.  Classic, bold, a statement.

Here are my top tips to getting it right:

Red lips, especially around the holidays, are always in style. Either matte or glossy, I always am asked about how to achieve the perfect red lip around this time of year. Red lipstick can be intimidating for most and to be fair they can be a bit high maintenance, but for special occasions they are timeless and gorgeous.

Shade: there are sooo many shades out there, warm reds, cool reds, berry hues, dark vampy… do your best to try before you buy, ask for samples, mix colours you already have, play a lot.  Your natural lip colour can change the shade you try, so your friends colour, may look different on you.

Prep time: Your lips should be as smooth and as hydrated as possible. We want them soft and pillowy, not shriveled and scratchy (who does, right?) I highly recommend a lip scrub or polish. My favorite’s include Revival Lip Scrub in cinnamon – and it tastes DELICIOUS. Rub that bad boy on there for a while and either wipe or eat it away. Next apply a super hydrating and healthy lip balm such as Hana Lip Balm or Saje. Leave on to absorb for a little bit. I find if you do this step pre foundation etc, and then apply the rest of your look and lip last works well.

When you’re ready for lip time, just blot off any extra lip balm off. We don’t want the lips too slippy for the product to move around.

So first, lightly sweep a concealer or foundation across your lips, just to neutralize the colour out. This way the red will be truer to colour and have a nice pop to it. Then with a lip liner (such as Saint’s in Hell Ya) make an X (see pic below on my friend Delia) this helps keep the lips symmetrical. Make another mark at the center bottom of the lower lip. From here you can feather out to the corners to create the full outline. You can adjust the shape slightly if need be (most people have asymmetrical lip lines), but be careful – colour stains easily.

Then fill in the rest of the lip with the liner!

From here with a lip brush that isn’t too floppy or large, such as Kjaer Weis’ lip brush on your desired shade of lipstick. For a shade that’s a more on the warmer side I love Ilia’s Wild Child and for the cooler deeper tones I like Kjaer Weis in Goddess (a bit of a deeper, darker shade) which is smoother than a lipstick like you mixed a lipstick and lip balm, but the colour still packs a punch. Love.

You can leave the colour matte or add a clear or corresponding lip-gloss colour over top if you prefer a wet, glossy look.

To help with possible feathering and also to make the lips pop that much more, with a concealer brush and a teeny tiny bit of concealer, very lightly trace the outer outline of the lips. And blend out. Be very careful as if you slip, you could easily blend into the red and then it’s a big hot mess! *A trick of the trade is to steady your hand by placing your pinky finger on your chin. OR you can do this at the concealer stage of doing your makeup ahead of time.

There you have it!

Hope you enjoy and happy holidays!!!

All photo’s above, makeup by me 🙂

Tata Harper Interview

By Beauty

When I owned my beauty store Louche Lily, I was a bit of a hunter for new brands. I was the first in Canada to carry Vapour Organics, CV Skinlabs, Kimberly Sayer... Tata Harper was coming into their own and at the time I was only one of a few in the country to be a stockist (WIN!) and I was very fortunate to have an interview with Tata for the LL blog.

Though the store is long gone, I love that these posts can live on in the new format of my site 🙂


Your background is in engineering – Was there a beginning spark to launch yourself into creating Skincare?

About ten years ago, my stepfather was diagnosed with cancer, and by being involved in his treatment and recovery process, I got my first exposure to the idea that the ingredients in the beauty and personal care products I used every day might not actually be very good for me. So I started to do some research, and I was shocked to discover that my daily skincare was full of synthetics, many of which had never been tested for safety. I started looking for an all-natural replacement for my high-tech antiaging skincare products, and I searched all over the world, but came up empty handed. There wasn’t anything out there that met my standards for high performance without the synthetics. So, I decided I needed to make it for myself – and I was sure there were other women out there looking for the same thing. So the line was born out of a need to create what I couldn’t find in the market! 


I love that you’re so hands on with every step of the process- was this important to you from day one?

Yes, definitely – I wanted everything to happen in one place, so I could oversee the entire process and ensure total purity and freshness of every batch. All of our products are produced in a facility on my farm in Vermont, where all of our R&D and marketing offices are, too. 


How on earth do you find the balance between yourself, family and the company?

By being super organized and sticking to my daily schedule, and by having an assistant to help me keep track of my calendar and all of the moving pieces! When you’re the founder of a fast-moving company, you just learn to make sacrifices, and to balance the best way you can. I always carve out time every day to spend with my kids, and a few minutes – even just five or ten – to spend by myself, to just relax.


One of the most noticeable first impressions that the senses pick up is that smell! Incredible! Where does that trademark scent come from? Who is in charge of that aromatic genius?

We actually don’t add fragrances to our products at all – what you are smelling is literally the scent bouquet of all of our floral ingredients! Our products’ efficacy is powered by botanical extracts, and so many of those are flowers, and those raw ingredients lend their fresh scents to the products. We don’t modify it at all, and of course our products are 100% natural, so there are zero synthetic fragrances in the formulas. I love the fact that our products have these unique natural scents – each one is different – because they contribute aromatic wellness benefits to your daily routine. 


If you were to recommend one thing for a woman to try first in the Tata Harper line, what would that be?

I would say the Rejuvenating Serum – it’s our hero product, and has been the number one best seller since it was first released. It’s a daily antiaging collagen serum, and it’s an incredible multitasker – it does the work of seven antiaging products in one formula. It’s incredibly concentrated and is powered by 29 active ingredients. It feels amazing on the skin – it sinks right in and leaves a matte finish. But the results really speak for themselves. I’ve been using it every day for years. 

What are some common misconceptions about natural, organic beauty products that you have found?

The most basic misconception is that they can’t be as effective as synthetic skincare products. That’s just incorrect – it all depends on the level of technology and the quality of ingredients. In my products, we only use the best of the best: ingredients that have been clinically proven to produce amazing results, and that are a fine enough quality and molecular weight where they penetrate the skin to deliver results where it matters. A lot of natural lines out there aren’t formulated to be high-performance, so they simply aren’t. But my line is different, because it was created with a team of 8 chemists whose specific goal was to make, from scratch, 100% natural formulas that worked just as well, if not better, than synthetic alternatives. And we did it – every product in my line is packed with active ingredients that deliver amazing, glowing skin and visible antiaging results! 


Are there any tell-tale signs you would say to give away that a product is “green washed”?

It can be really hard to tell because marketing and packaging can be so effective at convincing you a product is natural when it’s not. Look for products that really promise to be 100% natural – that way, you know you aren’t dealing with any synthetics. A third-party certification helps – for example, our products are certified as Natural Cosmetics by Ecocert, which is an internationally recognized accreditation body that can vouch for your natural and organic claims. Or, you can look it up using a website (they also have an App!) called Skin Deep, where you see how the products ranks in terms of toxicity. It’s a really powerful tool for becoming a more informed consumer. 

How I Manifested Peeing with Gabby Bernstein

By Aventures, Beauty, Self Development, Self Love


You heard me.

I freaking manifested peeing with THE Gabby Bernstein…

I had been a fan of Gabby for about a year, getting more into yoga and my spiritual development (or should I say return as I had been very involved when I was quite young) I found her through online sources – it started out as a mention here and there and then I watched her as a guest through a membership site I’m a part of and at a point I said to myself – that’s IT!  “Who is the Gabby Bernstein person?!”  And I was hooked.  Her message, her vibe, her everyday realness, a spiritual teacher who was sassy and into fashion?  Tell me more.

I frequented her online live video’s, blog posts and podcast interviews and loved her everything she was about.  I was incredibly inspired and excited.  Her ideas and teachings elevated my own mind and energy.  From mindset, to manifesting, releasing blocks and self love healing… I was so in.

The pic that got regrammed by Gabby when I went to see her speak in Montreal.  The Universe Has Your Back and Judgement Detox have been added since.

Spirit Junkie Masterclass dates were announced, it’s a weekend event in June attracting like minded high vibers, mostly women, who come together in a theatre holding 300 in downtown NYC.  Coming from all over the world to learn, expand, turn inward, understand and love.  I immediately felt a huge tug from my insides.  I had to be there.

Since I’m a makeup artist who had weddings booked pretty much every weekend, especially in the summer and sometimes a year in advance.  I actually had that very weekend off (and this was only about six weeks until show time) WHA?!  But what’s a girl to do who is broke AF, especially with the Canadian dollar – this just wasn’t gonna happen in a usual way.

Pining away and trying my little heart out in the manifest teachings of trust, faith and visualizing over a weeks time, a mini miracle happened – the price was discounted for a weekend.  All weekend I meditated on going, I was picturing myself there, front and center, meeting so many incredible people, traveling to NYC… my mantra for the weekend was “money comes to me in unexpected ways”.  Sunday rolled around and as I kept refreshing the sales page, finally, the discount was gone.  “Well”, I thought to myself, “I guess it’s not happening now”.  And I let it go.

Letting go is everything

The next day while in the middle of my own yoga practice at home, a thought hit my brain so hard while I was in down dog, I jumped up and don’t even remember running to my computer.  F it!  I’m recording and sending a video to Gabby Bernstein’s people asking if they need any help with volunteers or if they offer any scholarships. I recorded a short video in my Lulu tank in a full on sweat – I just had to get this out there.  Due to some techy difficulty my video wouldn’t upload properly and I decided to wait until the next day to send it so it wasn’t in the middle of a pile of morning emails (I’m so sneaky and thoughtful 😉

Early the next morning, I checked up on Gabby’s Instagram while waiting for my video to upload to YouTube and…. omfg….. OMG – it’s a post announcing they’re accepting videos for scholarships for Spirit Junkie Masterclass – are you kidding me?!?!  AHHHHH!!!!  So you bet I ran into my room to record an intro telling of the crazy awesomeness and sent that video in asap.

I waited and paced, feeling such a buzz through my body.  Even if I didn’t get the scholarship, I was so proud of myself for being open and listening to my inner self for knowing, a day early, to get the video done.  Don’t mess with me, I was on FIRE!  I called my mum (obvs) and declared “I could do a thousand, I could figure out my budget if it was discounted to one thousand dollars to go”

You know what happened next?

I got it.

I got exactly what I asked for.

An email from Gabby’s assistant Ali, telling me that they would love to offer me a scholarship at JUST UNDER the amount I declared out loud.  For realz.  And yep – there were tears of joy.

The word manifest hasn’t been the same since for me.


I’m going to effing NYC.

On my way to NYC for Gabby Bernstein’s SJM!

View from plane to NYC!

Staying with my dear friend who lives in Harlem, I was so excited to get downtown, the SJM alum bunch is the most kind and supportive and had arranged a late lunch spot down the street from the venue for anyone who wanted to join and we all walked (skipped or pranced would be a more fitting word – we were all BEAMING with anticipation)

I didn’t try to get this very spiritual number seat – meant to be


Lining up outside and pouring into the venue, we were the keeners and bee lined to get as close to a front row center seat as we could.  Then took turns going to the lobby to check stuff out, several vendors with gorgeous things to support us including Satya Jewlery, Love Bomb and Muse headbands were my faves.

Gabby’s Love Bomb mug on stage “Today I will manifest some cool ass shit”


On our way in!


The theatre filled up, I was making friends all around us and I decided to run to the bathroom really quick before it started.  I darted into the stall, peed super quick and bolted out only to have Gabby standing right in front of me.  She was adjusting her outfit (if memory serves me it was a very cool white pant onesie) and her friend and show producer was there helping her, I helped out a bit (post washing hands I promise) stumbling over words including “I used to be a stylist” or something like that and I’m sure made some more weird awkward comments before “break a leg” and ran back to my seat telling my neighbours “she’s about to come out!”.  The house lights dimmed, the stage lights came up and there she was, starting a dance party for us all.  We all were on our feet and didn’t stop the celebration all weekend.  There were so many tears, laughs, realizations, journaling, aha moments – I honestly can’t even describe it fully… what I can say that it was life changing, I would do it again in a heartbeat.  It’s a mission of mine to go to SJM2 this year*.  I can’t wait.


She takes the stage


Thank you Gabby for holding space for 300 of us in prayer, making sure we had tons of tissues, honesty, love and dancing up a storm.  I’m so happy you didn’t have a wardrobe malfunction up there… #yourewelcome 😉


Below are some more pics of my Spirit Junkie manifesting.


See the rainbow – I caught magic everywhere, my eyes were open to it all after the weekend. Tattooed foot (same subway ride as the rainbow) “Strength”, green heart on the ground (Magic EVERYWHERE I tells ya!), Fake wrist tat with my necklace.  This necklace was a gift from my one of my best friends when I was going through a difficult time.  I wore it as a sign to anyone who needed it at SJM and then I found this fake tattoo in our lobby.  PERFECT.  The universe totally has my back.  And my miracles bracelet from our gift bag.  I still wear it every time I go out.






*It took me three years, but my third SJM in a row – I did it, I signed up and attended level two that fall.  Click HERE for that post.