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.
Hello everyone! Is it just me or is this end of year season passing by even faster than usual? Much like most people, I’ve been busy wrapping up campaigns, attending holiday parties and stressing out about what to give to my loved ones for Christmas (or even worse, what to gift out for Secret Santa parties). I fell like I’ve been neglecting the Monthly Skincare blog post so I figured that I’d write one before Christmas fully comes around. While today’s post is not about a skincare product line per se, it does revolve around the newest versions of the Clarisonic, a multi-functional machine that cleanses and massages the skin and can even be used to apply makeup.
Winter is coming. Those famous words from George R. R Martin’s A Song of Fire & Ice novels couldn’t have been truer for the country I live in. Toronto is a gorgeous metropolis full of life during the summer but things do tend to slow down during the winter months, when everyone tries to remain indoors and the Uber Eats prices surge due to high demand. When my roommate moved out at the end of October, he left behind a highly aesthetically confused living room that was half decorated. Since I’ll be spending so much time at home in the upcoming cold months, it made sense to start the redecoration process right away to truly create the home that I had envisioned in my mind.
I often mention how I love Toronto throughout every season. It is gorgeous in Fall, brisk in Spring, warm in Summer and magical in winter. However, I will admit that the drop in temperature and the promise of snow did hit hard this year so I was happy to pack up my bags to head to the Florida Keys for five days. While I did visit Miami earlier on this year, this marked my first time in the Keys and Key West, a place so south that the running joke is that it is closer to Cuba than a Walgreens.
Tis the season to be jolly! Well, okay we still have to get past the Halloween frights first but everyone, including myself, is starting to get ready for the most amazing time of the year. While I am excited for the winter markets, chestnuts roasting on open fires and the smell of pine in the air, Christmas can also be stressful in terms of finding out what to get for your loved ones. Last week, I got the chance to head to a Sephora Holiday preview where we got a glimpse of some of the gift sets coming to Sephora Canada and I was so impressed by them that I wanted to share a selection of my favourite picks on the blog today.
Hello New York! Even though I have lived in Canada for a decade now, it took me a while to make a trip to the Big Apple. Last spring was my first time in New York and it was such an overwhelmingly stimulating experience that I was eager to repeat. So when Andrew managed to get three days off and really wanted to take a short trip out of Toronto, New York was a no brainer. After all, it is only an hour away from home (by plane), it is easily accessible at Billy Bishop Airport right downtown and there was still so much for us to explore in the city. After booking our impromptu flights, we packed our overnighter bags, passports and I figured that it would be the perfect terrain to give the Google Pixel 3 XL a try.
I celebrated my birthday a week ago and while it means the beginning of a new year in my life, it also meant the start of a brand new decade. That’s right, I finally hit the milestone that is thirty. Of course, age is merely a number but after sticking around for thirty years, you pick up a thing or two and you get to learn from your mistakes and experiences.
A friend of mine was heading off to Stockholm this past week and asked me for some recommendations about the city. Since its been two years since my last trip to the Swedish city, I thought that it would be smart of me to pull up the blog post about Stockholm to share it with him. Imagine my surprise when I realized that I had never done a blog post about one of my favourite cities in the world! Of course, I decided to remedy to the situation by sitting down, editing my trip photos (you’d be surprised how much of a difference two years can do to someone’s editing style) and putting together this travel diary about the most populous city in the Nordic Countries.
I am really cutting it close with September’s skincare review! It’s been a busy month and amidst all the skincare releases this past month, I will admit that this month’s review might have been slighted affected from all the other product’s that I’ve tried on my skin. That being said, I have given this line a full two weeks trial so we shall base the results on that time frame as opposed to the usual four weeks. This time around, I got to try a line made in Canada from Ontario called Schåf Skincare.
Another year, another TIFF ended. This was my third year attending the Toronto International Film Festival, a star-studded week and a half where red carpets are rolled, Five- Star hotels are fully booked and where the Toronto population gets the chance to catch a glimpse of Hollywood. Furthermore, it gives the media a taste of the award seasons to come, with many of the Oscar contenders debuting at the Canadian film festival. With over three hundred films being showcased over eleven days, the audience then has the chance to vote for their favourite movie which ends up winning the Grolsch People’s Choice award.
After launching in Paris last January and travelling to different cosmopolitan cities around the world including Hong Kong, London and New York, The YSL Beauty Hotel finally appeared in Toronto. It would be an understatement to say that I was excited about its arrival: between its sleek packaging and fantastic formulas, YSL beauty is definitely one of the top beauty brands on the market. As an extension to the Saint Laurent fashion house, YSL beauty brilliantly encapsulates the rock’n’roll spirit with its line of daring products and I was eager to learn more about it all.
Even though I grew up on a small tropical island in the Indian Ocean, I’ve always been happiest in big cities. However, sometimes it’s nice to take a step back from the concrete jungles and just head to a place with a slower pace. Toronto might be a metropolis in its own right but if you step into your car and drive off in any directing, within the hour you will find yourself in a completely different setting. With that in mind, the girls and I packed our bags and took a two hour drive to Prince Edward County.
Founded in 1828 by Pierre- François Pascal Guerlain, the eponymous brand started out as a parfumerie at 42, Rue de Rivoli in Paris. With the creation of legendary scents such as the Eau de Cologne Imperiale for Emperor Napoleon III and Empress Eugénie, the brand became a huge success in high society and eventually opened their flagship store at 15, rue de la Paix twelve years later. For four generations, the brand was handed down through the Guerlain family from son-to-son with each generation leaving behind an important piece in the Guerlain lineage (Aimé Guerlain’s Jicky in 1889, Jacques Guerlain’s Shalimar in 1925 and Jean-Paul Guerlain’s Chamade in 1969). While the brand remained heavily perfume-focussed over its 190 year history, Guerlain also expanded into a skincare and cosmetics empire like no other. This month’s skincare review will revolve around the brand’s Abeille Royale collection.
Growing up, I only knew two kinds of Chinese food: the one that my grandmother would painstakingly prepare all day for us on special occasions and the one at Chinese restaurants where there isn't a focus on service but the food is greasy and delicious. Since I moved to Canada, I haven't had much chance to sample my grandmother’s cooking but the second option is still relevant in my life. However, I have also discovered that Chinese food doesn’t have to equate to a restaurant with a yellow sign and poor service. Sometimes, you can find an upscale version of the asian food in a beautifully decorated environment and with that in mind, we went to dine at Soso Food Club.
Guys, can we take a second and talk about the fact that it is already mid August? While it has been fun to soak in the sun and get three shades darker than my usual concealer, I’ll have to admit that I am looking forward to the cooler days to come. First of all, fall fashion is simply the best and secondly, I love being a homebody and put on my sweatpants, brew some hot tea and log onto Netflix. One of the great things about having a good reason to stay indoors is that I also have much more time to concentrate on my skincare routine and namely, do even more masks than usual. Today I just wanted to talk briefly about some of the new masks that I’ve recently either purchased or received as gifts.