It already started snowing and the temperatures have dropped below 0C in Toronto so I think that it is safe to say that fall is over and that we have now fully entered winter. I know that a lot of people dread the winter months but there are definitely some pros to the season. It is super festive with the beginning of the holiday season, it’s a great reason to drink hot cocoa spiked with baileys and mulled wine and it is also kicked off by a Sephora Beauty Insider event this year. For avid shoppers of the beauty store, that means that you’ll end up having a lovely little discount (20% for Rouge, 15% for VIB and 10% for Insiders) added to your purchases. As such, it is a great time to treat yourself with some goodies that you’ve been meaning to try out, restock or even start your Christmas shopping early. Without further ado, I’m going to share some of the must-have items that I am adding to my cart this year.
Oh bonjours Paris! Paris is a magical city that people often dream about. Whenever you’re talking to anyone about Europe, more often than not they will say something along the lines of “oh you NEED to go visit Paris. The Eiffel Tower. The baguettes. The cheese. THE WINE!”. They aren’t wrong: Paris truly is a fantastic city that is aesthetically beautiful and has some of the best food in the world. My history with the French capital is slightly different than most. My first trip to Paris wasn’t a romantic escapade but rather a storyline that followed closest to the plot of Eat, Pray, Love. I had just ended a two year relationship and my trip to London and Paris was a way for me to find myself again. It truly did help as I came back home feeling refreshed and reborn in a certain way. However my second trip to the city was done the traditional way, with my heart mate.
As we all know by now, I am a bit of a skincare junkie and I love trying out new products and adding them to my ever-growing skincare routine. Even though my friends love to tease me about my skincare addiction, it’s something that I am very proud of. Skin is the biggest organ in the human body and it is the one that is the most prone to external damage, not only from scraps and bruises but also from environment factors like the sun and pollution. Although our cells regenerate every month, we do not have a second skin to shed (in the literal sense) and as such it is very important to take care of it and to pamper it as much as possible.
Hello everyone! Sorry for the absence on the blog. For the past two weeks I have been travelling in France and I have been trying to take in as much of my surroundings (and bread. And croissants. And salted butter) as I could so I was a bit less active on social media and on the blog. It’s been a few days since my return to Toronto and I am finally starting to settle back into my regular routine here so everything is back up and running! The reason why I went to France was for a fun little blogger competition. France tourism reached out to me a few months ago about their Know-How Challenge which would take three different pairs of bloggers to a mystery region in France where we would compete to showcase a specific category. Needless to say that I was super thrilled by the idea of this challenge and a few months later, I started my journey with a plane ride to Montreal.
I have professed my love for a multitude of skincare brands over the years but because there’s always so much innovation out there on the market, the products that I try one year don’t always make it to a second or third bottle. Thankfully a lot of brands are smartening up and they will often continue to perfect the formulas of their best sellers to make sure that they remain relevant with the current technological advances in skincare. Guerlain is no exception: I wrote about some of the products in their Abeille Royale line a while back (click HERE to read it) and I kept on restocking on them since then. The brand recently launched and relaunched a few goodies and kindly sent me a sample of the new products to try out.
Dior. The celebrated Parisian Fashion House is a household name that does not require an introduction. To most people, Dior is mostly known for its fragrances (Chalize Theron’s J’Adore will forever be one of the most iconic fragrance imageries in my mind) and for its line of sunglasses. Beyond that, fashion lovers will recognize the brand’s iconic oblique monogram print, trendy newly-revived saddle bag and perhaps the memorable John Galliano newspaper print made famous by Sarah Jessica Parker during the Sex and the City days. However, Dior has more than one jewel in its crown and the brand’s portfolio also includes gorgeous makeup collections and skincare lines. I recently attended a preview for Dior makeup, skincare and perfume and I was lucky enough to take some of their products home. In today’s blog post, I’d like to talk a bit about a few of their newest skincare launches.
We now live in a world where we value a lot of things based on its instagrammable value. It is started off with gorgeous locations covered in wisteria or pretty lavender fields in Provence but it eventually made it to the food realm with its rainbow bagels and unicorn cakes. As such it should come to no surprise that other brands took notice of the instagrammable trend and started creating brands that have strong aesthetical identities for millennials to relate to. In the recent years we’ve seen our fair share of sparkles, unicorn drops and mermaids but one brand that truly managed to create a cult following based around its aesthetic is undeniably Glossier.
I have spent so many years in Toronto that my life seems to be forever intertwined with the city. For the last ten years, I’ve called Toronto home but it almost didn’t turn out that way for me. As a bilingual, Montreal and Toronto were both big contenders when I was trying to figure out where to live in Canada but the winter temperatures in the Quebec City soon dissuaded me from moving there. I am still very happy with my choice to live in Toronto but I still greatly enjoy heading over to La Belle Province yearly. For this year’s Osheaga trip, we decided to stay at the Hotel Monville in downtown Montreal.
Hello everyone! I hope everyone is doing well! I usually write every week on the blog but for the past couple of weeks, I decided to take a small hiatus. To be quite frank, after all those years of blogging and instagramming I did feel a tad burnt out. There is a never ending supply of topics to write about out there, whether it’s about fashion, skincare or even just lifestyle in general but in a way, that endless stream of sharable content is perhaps a double edged sword that finally took it’s toll on me.
Since we finally finished redoing the bedroom and are still in the process of deciding what our office is going to look like, I decided that I would spruce up the living room a little bit. Quite literally in this case. I will be honest with you guys, I didn’t have the greenest thumbs before. I’ve killed quite a few succulents and a poor fiddle leaf fig tree before. So what business do I have to tell you which plants to get for your space? Well, it turns out that this time I decided to do my research before I went plant shopping.
A few months ago, Andrew and I decided to undertake a redecoration project for our living room/ dining room after we decided to move in together. We wanted it to match both of our aesthetics while still remaining affordable and after going furniture shopping both in store and online, we settled on a common area that was mainly furnished with Structube pieces. We loved it so much and the response on social media was overwhelmingly positive so when we decided to also redo the master bedroom, our obvious first choice was to work with Structube once again.
Hi, my name is Didier and I am gay. This might sound like a confessional that one might hear at an AA meeting and I won’t lie, for years it did feel like something that I had to be ashamed of. I grew up on a gorgeous island with white beaches and summery temperatures year long but like most islands, being gay is a huge taboo. Even after moving to Toronto, it took me a few years to realize that it was okay to openly mention my sexual preferences without having to be afraid of repercussions. I felt liberated and like I could finally become myself here but unfortunately, not everyone is given that chance in the world.
The key to everyone’s skin health differs based on the individuals. Some attribute it to a cult cream, to the use of their beloved Gua Sha, extensive daily intakes of water or some to the fact that they don’t even wash their faces. In my personal experience, I’ve found that drinking lots of water and a proper amount of sleep helps but finding the right skincare options for my skin type greatly helped to improve my skin as well. In my quest to find the holy grail, I am constantly trying out new brands and products, from drug store to high-end luxury skincare, and my search recently brought me to the iconic Clé De Peau Beauté brand.
Guys, I have a confession to make. Before attending the recent event for the launch of Rodan + Fields’ new face masks, I had never heard of the brand. I have no shame admitting it: there are so many skincare brands out there (both good and bad) that I have yet to experiment with. In a way, it is a blessing to delve into a brand without any prior history with it and to truly give an unbiased opinion about the products. The brand was created by Stanford- trained dermatologists Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields who aimed to create dermatology- inspired skincare and it is available only on their website or via an independent consultant (it is a similar concept to Avon). Without further ado, let’s talk about their latest launch.
I love makeup. I remember growing up and sneaking into my mother’s vanity to try out all the new products that she bought (and never used) and just being fascinated with how all those different colours looked on my face. Of course when my parents found out, they weren’t too thrilled. I’ve always known that my parents loved me but they definitely had a more traditional view of what a boy should be like. Boys don’t love boys, they don’t play with dolls or have high affinities for clothing and boys definitely do not wear makeup. Of course, my parents aren’t the only people who think like this and in many ways, that’s also why we have so many things that are marketed to specific genders. We rebranded deodorants in black for males and added masculine scents to skincare to cater to the male demographic. Brands are finally starting to tap into the male makeup industry, first pioneered by Tom Ford and now Chanel has followed suite with their Boy de Chanel line.
If I were to mention the Dominican Republic to anyone, the initial response would most likely make reference to Punta Cana, the beautiful weather and the gorgeous beaches. As such, it may surprise some that one of my highlights from my most recent trip to the Caribbean island only had one of those assumptions correct.
My most recent trip to L.A would not have been complete without a quick visit to Universal Studios. Andrew and I are both huge Potterheads (not to be confused with potheads) and we felt that we had to allocate a full day for Universal Studios so we could maximize our time in The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter. Little did we know that the magic didn’t end at Hogsmeade and we would end up having so much fun in the other worlds present on the premises as well!
Growing up, I remember watching my mother doing her skincare routine. She always had perfect skin and rarely ever wore more than a lipstick, some mascara and a touch of blush. It turns out that my mother and I had the same policy when it comes down to your face: make sure to treat your skin properly and you won’t need to put on very much to cover it. As such, I tend to spend most of my days au naturel even though I love experimenting with make up from time to time. However, I’ll always leave the house with a touch of highlighter to boost up my glow. Today on the blog, I am talking about three highlighting products that I have been obsessed with lately.
First of all, I’d like to thank everyone for the warm congratulations regarding my engagement at the beginning of the year. Last year was an eventful one for me but getting engaged was definitely the most memorable part of it. I originally wanted to keep it on the down low for a little bit so that it would be something special and private between me and my close ones but I definitely feel that it is time for Andrew and I to go public about it.
I hopped off the plane at LAX with my dreams and a cardigan a couple of weeks ago for a full week in Los Angeles. This marked my first time in the City of Angels and I won’t lie, I had mixed feelings about going there. Prior to any trip, I usually ask people who’ve travelled to my future destination for recommendations and it seemed that LA was a city that people either absolutely fell in love with or fully swore to never step foot in again. As it turned out, the city is often overtly glamourized by Hollywood and I feel that some people might have their preconceived ideas of LA shattered when they visit. That being said, the city is an interesting mix of highs and lows and it can be quite pleasant if you know exactly where to go. In today’s post, I’ll highlight some of my favourite spots and neighbourhoods in LA and quick mentions of how to enjoy the city in the best way possible.
At the beginning of March, I had the opportunity to head over to Philadelphia for a couple of days to attend their annual Flower Show. This marked my first time in the Pennsylvanian city and I will be honest with you guys, I really wasn’t sure what to expect. Philadelphia is not one of those cities that is overly romanticized like Paris and New York nor is it particularly known worldwide for anything other than cheese steak sandwiches, the liberty bell and Rocky. Here are some of the things to do if you’re even in the City of Brotherly Love and Sister Affection.
If you were to ask anyone if they know of Bioderma, their immediate answer would most likely make reference to the brand’s micellar water. The first time I heard mention of the brand was on Lisa Eldridge’s youtube, an amazing make-up artist who has previously worked with Shiseido and Boots No7 before becoming the global creative director of Lancôme in 2015. She mentioned that it was her favourite micellar water to use on models during fashion week due to its gentle nature and needless to say, I immediately ran to my local drug store to grab a bottle after the video ended. This was how my love story with Bioderma began.
Childhood is a magical time in any human being’s life. It is a time of freedom from social pressures, a time of discovery and adventure and above all a time where our imaginations are allowed to roam free. As we grow older, the magic starts to dissipate. Of course, we still manage to find magic in other things that surround us but those moments are far more sparse. This year marked my first time at any of the Disney parks and while I was excited about finally realizing one of my childhood dreams, I still couldn’t help but wonder: will I feel the same kind of magic that lives in every child’s heart when they arrive in the land of Mickey?
As an avid lover of skincare, I always feel the urge to give new products a try since there’s always something fresh and new coming out on the market. That being said, the constant rotation of new products isn’t the most beneficial to my skin, especially combined with the fact that I’ve been travelling back and forth from hot to cold climates lately. As a result, my skin isn’t at its optimal and I’ve been experiencing a few hydration and breakout issues. I am not blaming any of the new products I’ve been trying but rather, I felt like my skin needed a small break and it was time for me to momentarily go back to a routine of my holy grails.
After the dramatic temperature drop caused by the polar vortex this past week, I was definitely in the mood for some comedy in my life. Coincidentally, I was invited to attend the opening night of the Canadian Opera Company’s newest opera, Così fan tutte, a whimsical production of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s comedy. So I dusted off my suit, polished my shoes and made my way to the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts this past Tuesday.
As someone who spent the first twenty years of his life on a small island in the Indian Ocean, I was super excited the day when I decided to move to Toronto. I never understood the fascination that everyone had about travelling to warm and exotic locations but after ten years in this icy tundra, I can totally understand the desire to travel somewhere warm during the colder months of the year. When Air Transat invited me to spend a week in Jamaica, I immediately started packing up my bags and a few weeks later I undertook the four hour flight to the sunny island.
There is a small detail about me that I don’t often share with people: I have asthma. It started out when I was around seven years old and it disappeared a few years later. I thought that I could leave it in the past but unfortunately, about a year ago it came back. I don’t always get asthma attacks thankfully: it is usually only triggered by dust or by activities that require some form of cardio. For that specific reason, I have been scared of doing any running or cycling for the past year until recently. Then, I discovered Soul Cycle.
Since it is a new year, I figured that it was time to start Fresh. Literally. Fresh is one of those skincare lines that I didn’t know much about before starting this blog post. I have seen them on the shelves of Sephora for years and I had given their Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment a try. It was a fantastic lip balm but for some reason I never thought twice about giving their other products a try until now. Since the brand does carry a fairly sizeable and diverse product line, I decided to focus on face products with an emphasis on hydration.
Hello everyone and I hope that you’ve all spent a wonderful holiday season! 2018 has been such a whirlwind and I am so thankful for all the good and bad things that have happened in my life. I worked with some of my dream brands, travelled far more than I ever had and even got engaged to the love of my life (I’ll tell you more about that soon). Now that I’ve taken some well deserved R & R, it is time to refocus on myself and on what I expect for the upcoming year. As it is the tradition, here are my resolutions for the year 2019.
The irony with getting older is that you feel like you’re starting to grasp the concept of time but time never remains in your grasp. Each year, time seems to go by faster and faster and before you know it, it is already Christmas. With that in mind, I’ve found that I started valuing my time pieces more and more over the years as they allow me to make it to appointments in a timely fashion while still acting as a great accessory for my daily looks.